The 20-year-old suspected murderer of Iniubong Umoren in Akwa Ibom State has pleaded guilty to the offence leveled against him.
Uduak Akpan together with his father Frank was arraigned before Akwa Ibom State High Court 6, on a three-count charge bordering on murder, rape and accessory.
The duo are joined as first and second accused persons in suit No. HU/87c/ 2021 between the State versus the accused persons.
The accused are standing trial before the court, having being accused of allegedly murdering one Iniobong Umoren, a 26-year-old graduate of philosophy of University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Umoren was lured, abducted and later murdered on April 29, 2021 by the first accused, Uduak Akpan, in the pretext of offering her a job.
The offence, according to law, is contrary to section 326(1) of the criminal code, cap 33 vol.2, laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, 2000 and rape contrary to section 367 of the criminal code, Cap 38 Vol. of the Akwa Ibom state of Nigeria, 2000
However, when the charges were read during the arraignment, the first accused pleaded guilty to the murder charge but pleaded not guilty to the second charge bordering on rape.
His father, Frank Akpan who is being prosecuted on a one-charge of accessory before the facts, however pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Consequently, the court presided over by Justice Bennett Illaumo adjourned the matter to August18, 2021 for further hearing of the offense
Speaking with reporters shortly after the proceedings, the state Attorney General and commissioner of Justice, Mr. Uko Udom (SAN) assured the public that justice would be done.
Udom said in a capital offence such as the one being prosecuted time does not run against the the state adding that in the next ten years anybody found guilty can still be prosecuted
“In criminal prosecution we rely on the evidence from the investigations brought by the official investigators of the case.
‘Having gone through all the investigation reports by all security operatives that handled the investigation, currently the two that have been arraigned today are people that we have sufficient evidence to prosecute them.”
Also speaking, the lead counsel to the second defendant, Emms Ekongson Sr and counsel to the first defendant, Adula Sampson Esq said that “justice will be served according to law, and not according to public opinion and emotions.”
Appearing with the Attorney-General for the State were C. J. Udo Esq, J. O. Umoren Esq, S. J. Etim Esq, Iniobong Essang Esq and U. A. Inyang Esq.
Those appearing for the second defendant were Emms Ekongson Sr, Emmanuel Ekikor Esq, Akaninyene Asuquo Esq, and Edidiong Victor Ebong Esq.
Meanwhile, appearance of Utibe Nwoko Esq and Etimbik Udofia Esq was also announced for the Ati-Annang Socio-cultural Organization.