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Methodist Church Claims ₦35M Damages For Collapsed Mast On Pastor’s Residence

The Methodist Church of Nigeria, Ikot Omin, Eno Abasi Circuit Diocese, Calabar, Cross River State has called on the management of Ekondo Microfinance Bank to compensate the church to the tune of N35 million after the mast belonging to the bank collapsed and destroyed the residence of the Minister in-charge, Rev. Evans Uwaoma Obiokor.

The church said the collapsed telecoms mast along 8 Miles axis on Calabar Road has rendered the cleric and his family homeless.

Bishop of Diocese of Atamunu (Methodist Cathedral of Favour), Calabar, Otuekong Ukut, in an interview with LEADERSHIP on Thursday in Calabar, stated that preliminary survey showed that the property lost to the collapsed mast is valued at N35 million.

“We have already sent an architect to go through each of the items, and the preliminary survey has shown N35 million for the loss,” the Bishop said.

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The cleric listed the items destroyed to the mast to include three buildings comprising the office building, the residence of the Minister in-charge where he lives with his wife and children, the service quarter and the back house which were hit by the fallen mast.

“Those three buildings involved the roofs, the woods, electrical, the appliances, the electronics, office, and books in the office, computers, and photocopiers. It’s a massive damage.

“We have asked our legal officer to inform the bank. We are having our meeting on Monday. At the moment, we have to relocate the minister because the electrical wires in his home are sparking. The water you saw on the floor of his home because of yesterday’s rain can spark up once light is restored.

“Apart from the physical damages, there is threat to the life of the minister, that’s why I have to quickly inform our Prelate at the headquarters and the Board of Trustees. I believe they would have an emergency meeting because all Methodist Church’s property belongs to Board of Trustees,” Ukut maintained.

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He said although the management of the bank had not communicated with the church to express concern over the damages or to take responsibility, but as the Bishop, he has visited the premises of the bank, but found out that the collapsed mast was never maintained.

“I found out that the base of the mast was all rotten. There was no environmental impact assessment. The basement and maintenance of the mast were rotten.

“The poles were rotten, with several perforations laced with rust that could not stand the test of time. It’s something that should have been removed if the organisation were to be on alert.

“They should have been the ones to replace the mast with solid steel structures, that was what was about to kill the Minister of Methodist Church, his wife and children,” the Bishop said.

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When asked if the management of the bank had visited the church to discuss on the necessary actions to take, Bishop Ukut said none had come.

Asked if the church have the intention to seek redress at the court of law, should the bank fail to a take responsibility for the fallen telecom mast, the Methodist said, “I actually do not expect any responsible organisation or individual to refuse.”

He stressed that it would be very inhuman for the bank to deny responsibility, but it should instead thank God that their negligence and did not lead to the death of anyone.

When LEADERSHIP visited the bank to get its reaction, the Branch Manager, Mrs. Joy Koku, said she does not have the authority to speak on the incident.

”I have no authorisation to make any comment except for or big men from the headquarters,” Koku stated.