5th November, 2021
Uduak Akpan, suspected killer of job seeker, Iniobong Umoren has made a U-turn and pleaded not guilty to her murder.
In July, he pleaded guilty to the murder, when the case came up before Justice Bennett Illaumoh.
But on Thursday, he made a volte-face and changed his plea to not guilty.
Akpan is facing a murder charge before Justice Bassey Nkanang of the Akwa Ibom High Court.
Thursdays proceeding was attended by Akpan, his father, Frank Akpan, who was charged with him.
Akpan’s sister Bassey Anwan Akpan, a graduate of English Language and Literary Studies was charged as the third accused.
All pleaded not guilty.
Akpan’s dad, Frank, a retired director in the Federal Ministry of Health and Akpan’s sister Anwan were charged with two counts of accessory after the fact and harbouring of Akpan to escape punishment, knowing that he murdered Iniobong Umoren.
Chairman of Uruan local government area, Iniobong Ekpeyong and one Kufre Effiong gave evidence in court on Thursday.
Ekpeyong who was the first prosecution witness told the court how he facilitated the arrest of the first accused who incidentally is his cousin.
He told the court that he learnt about the murder of Iniobong Umoren when his attention was drawn to a social media post that the second accused, and father of the first accused, Mr Frank Akpan had been arrested by the police.
Ekpenyong said he received calls from various corners asking him to intervene because the second accused person, Frank Akpan, a retired deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Health was sick and needed urgent medical treatment.
According to the chairman, he called one of his cousins, Kufre Effiong and the DPO of Uruan LGA who converged at his Ewet Housing residence where the first accused person admitted killing the jobseeker by hitting her with an object.
Justice Bassey Nkanang adjourned the case till Monday 15 November, 2021.
He promised to give accelerated hearing with a view to passing judgement before Easter, 2022.