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Uyo Church Collapse: Akwa Ibom govt exonerates pastor whose collapsed church killed 27
PublishedBy: in News/LocalApril 10, 2018

Akwa Ibom govt exonerates pastor whose collapsed church killed 27

The man of God was accused of exerting "undue interference" over the contractors handling the building.

The  Akwa Ibom State government has absolved Bishop Akan Weeks from any blame over the 2016 collapse of his church building in the state, which left 27 people dead.

Weeks is the General Overseer of Reigners Bible Church International.

A panel of inquiry set up by the State Governor, Emmanuel Udom, to investigate the cause of the collapse had indicted Weeks, stating that the incident was due to unprofessionalism and negligence.

The panel, which was headed by a retired judge, Umoekoyo Essang, also accused Weeks of not getting appropriate approval from the state authorities before beginning the construction.

The man of God was also said to have exerted "undue interference" over the contractors handling the building.

"His (Mr Week) adamant posture of unbridled impunity as the Founder/General Overseer of Reigners Bible Church led to the unfortunate incident of 10 December, 2016," the panel’s report read in part.

More than one year after the report, Governor Udom issued a statement exonerating Weeks and the Uyo Capital City Development Authority (UCCDA).

"Facts available indicate that Apostle (Dr.) Akan Weeks relied on the professionals he engaged. It is the obligation of the professionals to execute due care and skill in the discharge of their duties or resign where they are not allowed to do so," the government said.


The statement added that the UCCDA could not be held responsible for the building collapse because it failed to stop the construction work despite the violation of a 'stop work' order it initially issued.

A human right lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, however, accused Udom of deliberately shielding Weeks because of his friendship with him.

He said, "Udom Emmanuel is a friend of Akan Weeks’ and was physically present during the consecration event when the building collapsed.

"We should remember that the Governor himself rode to power on the blood of innocent Akwa Ibom people and does not have respect for human life. This explains why the government has fraudulently exonerated the principal culprit of the building collapse, Akan Weeks.

"Since the government has rejected the findings and recommendations relating to Akan Weeks and the UCCDA, why should any other person be prosecuted? If Akan Weeks, the principal culprit, is not liable despite being indicted by the Commission of Inquiry, why should any other person be held liable?"

ALSO READ: Pastor Weeks says he got verbal approval to commence construction

The building collapsed on December 10, 2016, during a service where Weeks was consecrated Bishop.

The event was attended by many VIPs, including Governor Udom himself who narrowly missed being injured in the tragedy.


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