Just like the case of Miss Iniubong Umoren whose precious life was cut short by the now established serial “murder gang” in Uruan on April 29, 2021, late Master Ephraim Edet Okon, 22, is also billed for burial today, Saturday, May 29 in Uyo.
The deceased is the second son of Elder Edet Okon George who is the former Acting Chairman of Nsit Atai local government area of Akwa Ibom State. He is from Ndisiak community of Nsit Atai LGA.
The obsequies will be conducted by the Great Vision Christian Church, Eniong, Uyo at the deceased father’s compound, 39, Udo Idiong Nka Lane, Off Eniong Primary School, Nwaniba Road, Uyo.
Master Ephraim Edet Okon was allegedly murdered by a friend, Akpaniko Okon James, who was said to have hit him with a car.
The prime suspect is said to be a notorious drugs trafficker who was deported from Dominican Republic, where he was being ‘exiled’, after being accused of killing a MONEF School student in Uyo, a couple of years ago.
As the story goes, Akpaniko James, a native of Nnung Udoe Idoro in Uyo LGA was owing Ephraim the sum of N30,000 and was being asked to remit the payment when he reportedly became furious and later killed the friend.
Ephraim was an aspiring engineer, having finished from Ewet Technical School, Uyo with penchant for electrical electronics.
He was said to have passed his JAMB and was keenly anticipating his admission into the university before meeting his untimely death.
When journalists visited the deceased compound on Friday evening, arrangements were in top gear in preparation for the funeral service.
Narrating the incident, the father of the victim, Elder Edet Okon George unbundled the whole story where he described as unwarranted, the killing of his ‘innocent’ son.
“I was in my house reading my Bible when my son Ephraim came in to obtain the power of attorney which I prepared to dispose one of my landed properties.
“Around 8pm, my daughter was crying and shouting that Samuel has just called, saying that Akpaniko had killed Ephraim that we should rush to Life Care Clinic. Samuel is the first son of my late junior brother.
“At that point, I lost my memory, threw away the Bible and tried using my car. But the car refused to move.
“So I found my way to Life Care Clinic. When I reached there, blood was gushing out of his nose. And the doctor was trying to examine him. I asked that he be rushed to the Sani Abacha Federal Medical Centre.
“On getting there, I noticed that he was no more breathing. So I called the doctor’s attention and before we knew it, the doctor confirmed that he had died.
“According to Samuel, who accompanied Ephraim to meet the potential buyer of my land, he said they met Akpaniko on the road after they had met and gave the “power of attorney” to the man concerned.
“Ephraim had accordingly waved at Akpaniko and asked him to clear. He asked him to give him his N30,000 that he heard he had sold something worth N9 million.
“Samuel said there was a heated argument. And then Akpaniko reversed the vehicle. Ephraim thought that he wanted to clear. But he just turned the car and aimed at the boy. He then accelerated front and picked him up.
“Ephraim fell on the bonnet and he carried him for more than five polls, while swaying it for him to fall. At Ekpenyong-Gibbs Street junction, the boy fell and he matched him and drove away. So it wasn’t an accident. I need justice for my son”, he said.
The father stated that he once saw Akpaniko in his house with Ephraim and that he cautioned his son against having anything to do with him, since he was looking odd.
“He once came here to meet Ephraim. When I asked him (Ephraim) of him, he said they were school mates at MONEF Kiddies School.
“According to my late son, Akpaniko first borrowed N5,000 from him when the boys mother was sick and was at the Ibom Specialist Hospital. He also borrowed money from my son when they were both in Lagos.
“The last money he got from Ephraim was when he went to the filling station where Ephraim was working to get fuel worth N15,000.
“There, Ephraim was receiving a monthly salary of N20,000. The N15,000 was deducted from his salary.
“It was after my son’s death that some people drew my attention to the boy that was killed at the Pinnacle Hotel some years ago.
“It was eventually this same Akpaniko that was accused of that murder. At the police station, two policemen came and identified him as a person who was involved in that murder”, he said.
The deceased father however explained that though family members of the accused have not visited them since the incident, “the police have been very friendly and they are coorperating with us.”
He said the state government is yet to identify with them on the tragic event, adding that Akpaniko was even an orphan as both of his parents were late.
However, the police had regulated the Candle Procession held along Nwaniba road, Uyo by friends and relatives of the deceased.
Meanwhile the Police Public Relations Officer, Akwa Ibom State Command, DSP Odiko McDon has said the restriction of coverage area during the procession was due to security reasons.
Surprisingly, McDon who spoke to newsmen on phone refused to respond to a repeated enquiry on whether the suspect was in police custody.