At Last, Family Of Slain Akwa Ibom Job-seeker Gets Justice

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By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo

The family of the slain job-seeker in Akwa Ibom State, Iniubong Umoren who was gruesomely murdered while searching for a job has received justice served on her killer.

A High Court, sitting in Uyo, the state capital, on Thursday, amidst tight security presence, sentenced to death her murderer,  a 21 years old Uduak Akpan by hanging.

The court also found the accused guilty of rape and accordingly sentenced him to life imprisonment for raping the deceased whom he lured to his father’s house in Uruan Local Government Area in April, last year, under the pretext of offering her a job.

Delivering judgement which lasted for over an hour, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang, discharged and acquitted the convict’s father, Frank Akpan and sister, Anwan Bassey (2nd and 3rd defendants)  accused of accessory after the fact to murder, respectively.

Nkanang stated, “This court has proved beyond reasonable doubts that you, Uduak Akpan is guilty of murder and you are charged accordingly. You are to die by hanging until you rot away.”

Speaking after the judgement, the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Uko Udom, SAN, expressed satisfaction over the ruling of the matter.

“I thank the Presiding Judge over the way and manner this matter has been conducted. The Judge was able to take a day out, tried the case on a day-to-day basis and at the end of the day, we had a judgement that the justice system works. We are very happy about the outcome of the case. 

Speaking on the next line of action, the Commissioner said, “as you can see, the first defendant has been led into custody and the 2nd and 3rd defendant have been discharged and acquitted, we intend as a state to analyze that judgement and see if there are any grouse and take a decision but the judge has done a good job.

“I won’t fail to commend the officers of the Nigeria Police Force and the DSS for their diligence in the prosecution of the matter, they did great jobs in the investigation though sometimes the public especially on social media accused them of complicity but they have done well,” he said

Reacting to the judgement, Counsel to Uduak Akpan, Samson Adula Esq. said a lot of people were interested in justice in the matter, adding that justice has been served. 

“All we are interested in is justice, and justice has been done, the person that was supposed to be convicted has been convicted, the other two defendants were discharged and acquitted, that is justice of the case. The work of defence counsel is to ensure the rules were followed and not to defend at all cost,” he said.

Elder brother to deceased, Mr. Ephraim Umoren expressed satisfaction in the judgement and commended  Governor  Udom Emmanuel and his wife, Mrs Martha Emmanuel for their support to the family 

“I’m happy that Justice has already been done and I want to thank the Governor and the wife for standing by us”

However, the deceased’s elder sister, Ifiok Umorem, while hailing the judgement, called on both the state and federal government to provide employment for the teeming youth to address unemployment in the the country.

“Today is the happiest day in my life. My spirit has been lifted. Though they had been some challenges in the course of pursuing the case because of finance as a graduate who is not employed but I’m very happy that within a year that my Sister was gruesomely killed, justice has been done, and done well”, Ifiok added.

However, there was confusion in the Court shortly after the sentence was passed as the convict attempted to strangulate to death, one of the Lawyers who testified against him in Court.

The lawyer who was later identied as the Counsel to 1st defendant’s to the then accused (Uduak) but who withdrew from handling the matter was said to have told the Court that, (Uduak his then client) had confessed to him that he actually lured Iniubong to his father’s house on a pretext of offering her a job, where he raped and later killed her using iron.

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