Founder of Reigners’ Bible Church, Apostle Akan Weeks on Monday told the Commission of Inquiry into Reigners’ Bible Church collapse in Akwa Ibom that he got a verbal approval to build the structure.
Weeks said he paid N300,000 to one Etido Udoh of Uyo City Capital Development Authority (UCCDA).
He said, “To be very honest, I am a man of God. I don’t believe in lies. We applied, that was in 2014. I applied with all the documents required. We applied through writing and there were other documents which I gave to them like the survey plan; structural design and so on.
“They also demanded for money (N300,000) which I gave to them in my office. One Etido Udoh collected the money. No receipt was given to me at that instance but I was surprised that after the December 10 incident while I was still in the hospital, I had a call and somebody said he was from UCCDA (one Edito Udoh).
“He asked if he could speak with me when my wife picked the call. He insisted to see me and I told him I was not in town. He said he wanted to give me my church documents. I told him to reach my counsel. They returned my building documents and the N300,000 through one Mrs. Ima David, a lawyer, to my lawyer, Ini Ekpo, on January 4, 2017 on the premises of the court.”
The apostle also denied that the church building had been marked for demolition five times.
He said, “They (UCCDA) did not mark the building for demolition. Officials of UCCDA never came to mark ‘X’ on the church building. I never authorised anybody to remove the central pillar. I am not competent to do so because I am a layman.”
He said the site on which the collapsed Reigners’ Bible Church was located had been designated by the Akwa Ibom State Government as conservation zone due to its topography.