… State Surveyor-General, SURCON Committee keep mum
By Ime Silas
The Zone 6, Calabar Command of the Nigeria Police Force has been alerted of alleged plot to stifle investigation and shield a suspect, one Surv Felix Udoh, from criminal prosecution involving his alleged wilful defacement and removal of a lawfully erected survey beacon.
Surv. Felix Udoh is the Akwa Ibom State Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, (NIS).
Surv. B. J. Akpan is accusing Surv. Felix of wilfully defacing and removing beacon stones from the site he conducted survey in 2015 with intent to effect a Change of Title.
According to a petition by the complainant’s lawyer, Fidelis Iteshi, Esq, dated November 30, 2020, and addressed to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 6 Police Command, Calabar, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), in charge of the matter allegedly treated the suspect (Felix) with kid gloves and over indulged him.
Parts of the petition as sighted by our correspondent, which is tagged “Petition Against Plot To Stifle Investigation and Shield Suspect from Criminal Prosecution”, stated thus: “That on the 10th September, 2020, we petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom state through the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Akwa Ibom state over the above referred subject matter
“That the Investigating Police Officer treated the suspect with kid gloves, over indulged him and granted him bail on self recognizance even in the face of glaring criminal actions of the suspect”.
The petition went on to state how the suspect (Surv. Felix), after being granted bail, failed to turn up for visitation to the scene of the crime.
The lawyer further stated that the suspect also spurned invitations for post-bail interview at the Ikot Akpan Abia Police Headquarters, and nothing was done.
The petition stated further that upon completion of investigation, the police have refused to charge the matter to court as earlier assured, but resorted to, allegedly, threatening the complainant and other tactics.
The petition continued: “That the next move of the suspect was to petition the Zonal Command for an obvious reason of using the petition as a cover up to escape from justice”.
In a letter captioned: “Reckless and Unethical Practice of Surv. Felix E. Udoh- Change of Title of Plan No. BJ/AK/2/2015/34”, dated 26th June, 2020, the complainant, Surv. B. J. Akpan, had written to Surv. Felix Udoh, accusing him of knocking off beacon stones from a survey job he (B. J. Akpan) had executed in 2015, for the purposes of effecting a Change of Title
The act, our paper gathered, is against the ethics of the Survey profession which permits only the original surveyor (except where he is deceased) of the affected property to undertake a change of title in an event of change of ownership of the property.
It was gathered that upon refusal to respond to the letter and reminder, which had sought ‘amicable settlement’, B.J. Akpan had written to the Akwa Ibom State Surveyor-General, Surv. Emem Isang, who, by virtue of her office, is the Chairman, SURCON State Committee on Ethics.
It was learnt that the SURCON State Committee, whose responsibility it is to adjudicate on the matter, refused to entertain same because, as noted in Barr Iteshi’s originating petition to the police, “…That our Client has petitioned the relevant professional bodies in Akwa Ibom State for disciplinary action to be taken against Surveyor Udoh but he used his position as State Chairman of the Body to suppress the petition”.
Efforts to reach Surv. Felix Udoh for comments proved abortive as phone calls to his known telephone number were not replied or returned. He did not also reply a WhatsApp message sent to him by our correspondent.
Our Correspondent could not also get reactions from the State Surveyor-General, Surv. Emem Isang, who doubles as Chairman, SURCON State Committee on Ethics, as at press time as she was not on seat when our Correspondent visited her office.