Tragedy struck the University of Calabar community as a staff of the institution identified as Ubong has drowned at a popular hotel located at 151 MCC Road, Ikot Uduak at Akai Efa, Calabar Municipal Council of Cross River State.
Ubong, 41, who was working in the Registrar’s office in UNICAL, was said to have gone to the hotel on Monday evening after close of work to cool off.
A witness, who gave his name as Johnson Ekpong, said, Ubong on entering the hotel premises, headed straight to the bar and ordered for some drinks and a plate of food and took it to the poolside.
He said Ubong took away his order, without paying and even dropped his phone on the counter and the bar man who served him believed that he would come back later.
ALSO READ NDLEA Arrests 13 Suspects in Ondo
Narrating the incident, he said: “Ubong came to the hotel to cool off himself because of the intense heat we are experiencing in Calabar. While at the hotel, he went to buy some drinks and food at the bar.
“He did not even pay the barman but he dropped off his phone and went to the pool without informing anyone.
“It was at about 2:00am, when the barman was rendering his account, that he realised someone hasn’t paid his/her bills and that was Mr Ubong.
“Showing concern, the barman raised the alarm and the manager and other staff of the resort started looking for Mr Ubong. They went around the premises only to find his clothes by the poolside.
“They searched in the pool but could not find him at that time. The following morning, they went into the swimming pool again but didn’t find him and everybody was worried.
“But at 12 noon on Tuesday, they saw his body floating on top of the swimming pool. They quickly called in the Police who came in and arrested the manager and the barman and took them to the Divisional Police Station (Division B) at Parliamentary Extension while the owner of the hotel is on the run”, he explained.
It was gathered that the Police have declared the owner of the hotel wanted for incessant cases of alleged drowning at the hotel premises in the last two years.
Investigations showed that on February 24, 2020, one Barnabas Otu, year one student of Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) was drowned in the swimming pool of the hotel just as a girl was drowned in February 14, 2021 at the same pool.
Reacting, SP Irene Ugbo, Police Public Relations Officer in Cross River State, said she has not been briefed about the development.