The quiet Nung Ikono Obio Village in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State boiled as mob invaded the family compound of the alleged rapist and murderer of Miss Iniubong Umoren.
Youths numbering hundreds stormed the family house of one Uduak Frank Akpan, the prime suspect in the murder of a jobseeker, and vandalised it.
It was gathered that the youths took the action after setting ablaze the security post of the one-storey building, venue of killer’s den where Miss Iniubong was killed and buried in a shallow grave.
Sources told one of our correspondents that the youths carted away all the properties in the building and arrested father of the suspected killer for handing over to the police.
“They broke the windows and the glass doors with pebbles and sticks, and carted away everything in the building,” the source said.
Iniubong from Obio Ndot in Oruk Anam Local Government Area was allegedly lured on pretext of getting, abducted and sexually abused and gruesomely murdered by Akpan, who hails from Uruan.
The youth explained that their action was predicated on the alleged complicity of Akpan in the murder of the 26-year-old graduate of Philosophy from the University of Uyo.
Speaking with one of our correspondents on the phone, the youth President, Sunday Essien, expressed disappointment at the alleged action of an indigene of the community.
“There is nothing happening apart from what you have already heard. It’s not good for the boy to kill a fellow human being. We don’t know that that was what he had been doing. That is the reason we took this action,” Essien said.
He, however, exonerated the Chairman of the local government council, Mr Iniobong Ekpenyong, saying he played the role of the chief security officer of council by calling the police to arrest the suspect.
Similarly, students of the Faculty of Arts, University of Uyo, who were dressed in black outfits, on Tuesday, protested against the gruesome murder of Iniubong and demanded that justice be served.
The students walked round the school campus in a solemn procession and called on wife of the state governor, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel, to play her motherly role by ensuring that justice was achieved.
The leader of 2015 set of the faculty, Mr Unyime Anietie, vowed to ensure that their colleague’s death would not go in vain after labouring so hard to go through school.
He stated, “Iniubong Umoren did not deserve to die; she didn’t have to die after all the stress she went through in school. We want to appeal to Mrs Martha Emmanuel to use her pet project, Family Empowerment and Youths Re-orientation Path-initiative to ensure that the perpetrators of such act are brought to justice.
“If this is what it will take for rape and all other forms of gender-based violence to end, then we appeal to all stakeholders to see to the end of this case.”
The Dean, Faculty of Arts, UniUyo, Prof. Joe Ushie, said Iniubong, whose result he recently signed, paid the supreme price as a victim of a world that was morally dead.
The House of Representatives, at the plenary on Tuesday, described the incident as “barbaric, inhuman and despotic,” and mandated the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to “immediately commission and take over the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.”
The House also mandated the IG to “ensure the protection of her family members from harassment, intimidation and harm.”
The House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development was also asked to follow up with the investigation and prosecution, and ensure compliance with the resolutions and report to the chamber.
The resolutions were sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by the lawmaker representing the Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency in the House, Mr Unyime Idem, tagged: ”A Call for Comprehensive Investigation, Prosecution and Punishment of the Perpetrator(s) of the Kidnapping, Sexual Assault and Heinous Killing of Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren and the Need to Protect Her Family Members’’.
PUNCH Metro had earlier reported that the victim went missing while attending a job interview in the state on Thursday. She had earlier tweeted via her handle, @HinyHumoren, that she needed a job and some persons had suggested prospective employers to her.
But @UmohUduak1, who identified herself as the jobseeker’s friend, raised the alarm on Thursday that her friend was nowhere to be found.
Her cries for help attracted the Nigerian Twitter community, which called on security agencies to find the victim. The hashtag, #FindHinnyHumoren, has since been trending on Twitter for days.
Akpan, who was arrested in connection with the murder of Iniubong, had in his confessional statement claimed to have communicated with the Uruan chairman about the crime before he escaped to Calabar, Cross River State.
“The suspect confessed to have told the council chairman of his atrocity before escaping to Calabar and was never at any time handed to the police by anyone,” the police spokesman had said in statement.
The chairman later denied of any involvement in the matter, claiming that his intervention aided the arrest of the suspect, noting that the allegations were attempt to soil his reputation.