How Premium Times Reporter Raked N120m From Prof Ignatius Ukpong
…USED SCAMMERS TO CAUSE UNCLE’S HEARTBREAK
Startling revelations on the ignoble activities of Cletus Ukpong, a Premium Times reporter, and his elder brother Sylvanus Ukpong, which bothers on fraud and forgery have emerged.
A family source has disclosed how Cletus led his brother to obtain a loan of N50m from Akwa Savings and Loans using Agatha Gardens, a hotel owned by Prof Ukpong as a collateral without the knowledge of the Professor, throwing the former acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo into excruciating pains.
“Yes, Cletus and Sylvanus sent Papa to the grave earlier than he would have anticipated. At only 78, papa looked far older than he was and like Caesar whose life was cut short by his bosom friend, Brutus, Papa was stabbed from behind by Cletus and his cohorts,” an inside family source disclosed.
By the time he died, he had nearly lost so much in terms of health and wealth that money had to be borrowed to afford him a decent burial. Close family sources revealed that then Governor Akpabio doled out N15m to the children to save their father’s remains from disgrace.
It was learnt that the retired University lecturer had actually approved a loan of N5m only for Cletus who is said to have connived with Mr. Edet Akwa a then director, to allegedly inflate the figure by over 10percent.
At the time of his demise in 2013, the interest on the debt had rose to over N80m.
On the contracts given to the company during the administration of Godswill Akpabio, our source revealed that the N800m road contract which through project variation was increased to N1.1Bn naira, was executed directly by Cletus and Sylvanus and the proceeds were squandered.
While the main office of the firm was located at Dominic Utuk Avenue, the equipment of the firm at Asang street in Eket were allegedly sold off by Mr Cletus Ukpong and his conspirators.
Although it was awarded in respect of the late elder statesman, the young men left him with nothing except a misery 2010 Toyota Camry, while Cletus and brother Umo drove four wheel vehicles around the streets of Uyo.
Although the havocs listed above are enough to destroy a man in a lifetime, Cletus allegedly went a step further by bringing some fraudsters who posed as late former Presidential candidate Tunji Braithwaite and a certain Douglas.
From the available invoices and bank statements, it was certain that nothing less than N36.1m was paid to the scammers who were brought by the Cletus and his brother to meet Prof Ukpong.
“You won’t believe that they will take Papa even as an old man, all the way to Lagos and go show him some vessels at the Apapa wharf, deceiving him that his goods were inside and needed some more funds for clearance.”
Prof was highly destabilized once he realized that there was no vessel and no goods in his name, and that the two men who he had been sending huge sums of money, were actually scammers, and not the real national figures everyone knew.
According to the source, if they had their way, Cletus and his collaborators would have sold off everything that belonged to Chief (Prof) Ignatius Ukpong, without recourse to the man’s children.
“As soon as they had swindled him of N36m, they incessant phone calls stopped. Their phone lines were changed and the Braithwaites and Douglases of this world ceased to exist.
When Prof Ukpong died, without being able to repay the debts at Akwa Savings and Loans, Cletus was quick to bring the Bank to come and sell of the Hotel, but for a court action by the wife and children which has taken the case to the Court of Appeal level in Calabar.
Dr. Dominic Ignatius Ukpong, the first son of the Professor who is an associate Professor of Psychiatric Health in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, has continued the battle of his life to save the remains of his father’s property from the claws of nightmare caused by the ignoble act of Cletus Ukpong and his collaborators.