If Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel thinks his effort towards saving money for Akwa Ibom and boosting the economy of the state is being reciprocated by some members of his Cabinet in the State Executive Council, then he had better have a rethink as one of his Commissioners is neck deep in siphoning and stealing money from the state treasury using some tricks.
An example is the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Sir Monday Ebong Uko. Sir Uko, it is learnt, is rather than get busy on how to develop sports in the state is manufacturing different techniques of squeezing funds from the state government and yet is boasting that Udom cannot sack him as his contributions to the Governor’s emergence was too much. Sources hinted our report that Mr. Monday Ebong Uko is a commissioner of fraud.
For instance, about three months after Maurice Coreman was signed as the head coach of Akwa united and a House rented for him at Ikot Akpabio near Uyo the state capital, Monday Uko has instructed the coach and his assistant to still remain in his Monty Suite Hotel along Edet Akpan Avenue. Sources say that the commissioner is applying this antic because he is feeding fat from the money accruing to his purse from the continuous stay of Coreman in his hotel.
Our investigations reveal that the coach is being lodged in the suite with the highest rate of remuneration which is about twenty thousand per night. Reports say that for about three months Coreman had stayed in the hotel that the state Government will have to pay about three million six Hundred Thousand Naira into the purse of Mr. Monday Uko. This fee our reporter gathered is excluding food, drinks and water consumed by the coaches.
Efforts by some relevant sports authorities and stakeholders to discourage the sports commissioner from continually keeping the coaches in his hotel is said to be falling on deaf ears as the commissioner is said to have rebuffed all supplications in this regard.
It was gathered that the commissioner is said to have almost threw a punch at a certain Director in the ministry when the said Director reminded him that the continuous stay of the coaches in Monty suite is not helping the economy of the state.
An angered Monday Uko is said to have talked tough and had asked the director in his native dialect whether the lodging of cooreman and his assistants has affected the Director’s salary.
Venting his anger further, Monday Uko is said to have informed the director and others present that as far as he is concerned, that he can do and undo in the sports ministry.
Commissioner Uko is said to also have insisted that he have the powers to hire and fire and that the state Governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel cannot touch him as his contributions towards the Governor’s victory was superb.
Mr. Monday Uko is said to have boasted of how he contributed so much financially towards the victory of Udom and that it is time the system rewards him.
He is also said to have looked at the Director (name withheld) that if Udom makes an attempt to sack him, that he knows whom to run to and such powers will call Udom to order.
We can authoritatively report that Mr. Uko may, after all, not be in a haste to relocate Mr. Maurice Cooreman and his assistant to the officially acquired residence for the coach because of the financial interest he is making from the coaches continuous inhabitation of the Monty Suite Hotel.
The residence our reporter was informed by a member of the Akwa Ibom State Football Association, AKSFA is along Ikot Akpan Abia by the State Police Headquarters and is a three bedroom flat apartments.
Some Sports enthusiasts who spoke to our correspondents wondered why Monday Uko in the face of Akwa Ibom dwindling resources would still go ahead to use such tricks in extorting money from the State Government and then boost that the Governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel cannot sack him.
A member of the management team of Akwa United who spoke to our reporter last night described Monday Uko as an autocratic leader who apart from not understanding sports management is running the Ministry of Youth and Sports as a sole administrator. Our source who hails from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District said, “Monty is my brother but his position in sports management in the State is an apology. He has in a short time scattered Akwa United and its management team, his insistence that the coach stays in Monty Suites instead of the official residence acquired for him is unfair to not only the Ministry of Sports but to the Akwa Ibom State Economy”.
“We are aware of how much is being diverted to Monday Uko’s purse using the name of Akwa United but unfortunately, we cannot question him. I wish you people can help us take this message to the Governor so that our Commissioner for Sports can be called to order. It is very shameful that Monday Uko after government have rented an apartment for the coaches is still insisting that Maurice Cooreman and his assistant continues to live in Monty Suite so that the Commissioner will continue to enrich himself at the expense of others”
A source from the Ministry of Sports who did not wish to be mentioned said the office of the permanent Secretary, Directors and others in the Ministry are against the continuous stay of Cooreman in the Hotel belonging to the Commissioner at 4-Lane Edet Akpan Avenue because of the huge finances involved. Our source disclosed that Monday Uko is exhibiting greed and that sooner or later, he will meet his waterloo.
Some members of the Akwa Ibom Football Association who interacted with our correspondent on Sunday at Usanga Akpan Street near final court sit out in Uyo described the action of the Commissioner as unfortunate and advised Monty Suite proprietor to respect the State and release Cooreman to live in a government rented apartment meant to serve the Premier League Club tactician.
Apart from frustrating cooreman’s relocation to the government rented apartment for the coach, Monty Suite is also accused of taking over the job of the management of Akwa united. Our source said that the commissioner is in the habit of buying tickets for players and that if he buys these tickets at the normal rate, there wouldn’t be a problem but that he inflates the proceeds he uses in buying tickets to suits his fancy at the detriment of the Economy of Akwa ibom state.
The case has even worsened to a point that even as at late last night, Maurice Cooreman was still at the Hotel Smoking his cigarette.
When confronted with these allegations, Monday Uko is said to be defending himself by saying that the State Governor is not interested in matters of Sports and that it explains why the Udom Emmanuel Government contributes very little to the development of Sports in the state. Mr. Uko is said to have told whoever cares to listen that it is his personal money that he uses to finance Sports in the state and that he has to do everything to ensure that he gets his money back.
Meanwhile, some close aides to the Commissioner have given insight into why Monday Uko is busy making money for himself. It was gathered that the Youth and Sports Commissioner is interested in the House of Representatives position for Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara/Essien Udim Federal constituency. And hence why he has to starch money now that he has the opportunity to. The money it was gathered will be used to fund his 2019 House of Representatives ambition.
The Commissioner for Youth and Sports Mr. Monday Uko would not make a comment on the allegations leveled against him. When our reporter sent him an sms, he refused to respond and didn’t answer his calls even till this paper went to bed last night.(Culled from The Ink).