The alleged murderer of Late Miss Iniubong Umoren, graduate of Philosophy of the University of Uyo, Uduak Frank Akpan has pleaded guilty to the offence.
Standing in the dock on Monday at Court Room 6 of the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo, Uduak Frank Akpan said he was guilty of killing the deceased.
He however pleaded not guilty to the charge of rape, even as the second defendant, his father, Mr Frank Akpan pleaded not guilty to the charge of abating the offences.
In a Suit No. 8: HU/87c/2021 between the State VS Akpan Uduakabasi Frank,
the accused, Uduak Frank Akpan, and his father, Mr. Frank Akpan, are standing trial to a three-count charge of “murder, rape and accessory after the facts.”
While the first defendant, Uduak Frank Akpan faces the first two charges of murder and rape, the second defendant, Mr Frank Akpan, faces the third charge of “accessory after the fact”.
Seeing that the first defendant had no defence counsel, the trial judge, Honourable Justice Bennett J. Itaumo, appointed the Akwa Ibom State Coordinator of the Legal Aide Counsel, Adula Sampson Esq to stand for him.
Appearing as lead counsel for the state, the Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State and Commissioner for Justice, Uko Essien Udom, SAN applied for amendment of the concluding paragraph, replacing the word “killed” with the word “murdered” on the charge sheet.
Head of the defence team for the second defendant, Barr Emms Ekongson Sr, sought a bail application for his client.
The trial Judge, Justice Bennett J. Itaumo however denied the plea for bail and announced adjournment to August 18, 2021.
Speaking with the press after the proceedings, the Attorney General stated that the murder case was a capital offence.
Uko Essien Udom, SAN stressed that the trial would expectedly by prompt as special courts were now dedicated to criminal offences which makes prosecution faster.
He called on the public to be calm, adding that their duty was to prove the facts of the matter, as diligent prosecution and appropriate justice was being anticipated.
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.