UDUAK FRANK AKPAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MURDER OF INIUBONG UMOREN
The first accused person, Uduak Frank Akpan, has pleaded guilty to the charge of murder as the trial began yesterday in the case of murder of Iniubong Umoren, a job seeker and graduate of the University of Uyo who was killed on 29th April 2021. The presiding judge, Bennet IllaUmoh ordered the accused and his father Frank Akpan to be remanded in custodial centre Uyo pending the commencement of the hearing.
Uduak Akpan pleaded guilty to the murder charge, which if convicted, carries a death sentence; but pleaded not guilty to the charge of rape which provides for life imprisonment according to section 367 of the criminal code laws of Akwa Ibom state.
On the other hand, the second accused frank Akpan, a retired deputy director in the Federal civil service pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge of accessory after the fact of murder, for allegedly assisting his son escape from his residence in Nnung Ikono Obio Uruan, where the Oruk Anam born graduate of philosophy was killed while on a job hunt.
The father and son are being charged by the state in a suit number HU/18/C/2021. The prosecution team led by the attorney general of Akwa Ibom state and senior advocate of Nigeria, Uko Udom, had earlier applied to the court for the amendment of the section of the particulars of the offence to remove the clause that stated that the accused person Uduak Frank Akpan did kill Iniubong Umoren, and replace it with the word “murder”, an application that was granted by the court.
Earlier there was a mild drama in the court when the Uduak Frank Akpan was asked about the whereabouts of his lawyer. He mentioned the name of his father’s lawyer, who denied representing him in the case. The lack of legal representation prompted the court to appoint a lawyer from the legal aid council of Nigeria, to give the accused person the constitutional right to a fair hearing in line with the provisions of the law.
Ati Annang, a sociocultural organization in Annang land where the late Iniubong Umoren came from, was represented by Barr Utibe Nwoko, just as the family of the deceased was represented by Barr Emmanuel Umoren. The case has however been adjourned to Wednesday the 18th of August for pretrial.
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