Justice Bassey Nkanang of Akwa Ibom State High Court has sentenced Uduak Akpan to death by hanging for the murder of late Iniubong Umo.
Umoren was a graduate of Philosophy, University of Uyo before she was killed by Uduak on April 2021 while job hunting. AS at that time she was also waiting for NYSC mobilization.
The trial judge had fixed the hearing date after the prosecution and defence counsel adopted their final written addresses.
The three suspects arraigned for the murder case were Uduak-Abasi, first accused, Frank Akpan, second accused and Anwan-Bassey Akpan , the third accused.
Court however discharged and acquitted Frank Akpan and Anwan-Bassey Akpan. Uduak-Abasi Akpan who had invited her for a job interview stood on a two count charge of rape and murder.
The second accused person Frank Akpan who is his father was charged with accessory after the murder charge. The third accused Anwan-Bassey Akpan, Uduak Akpan’s sister was charged with harbouring her brother at her residence in Calabar in a bid to assist him to evade justice.
‘My sister has gotten justice’ said the brother of late Umoren Iniubong, Ukeme, he attested to how happy the family is now that the sister has gotten the justice that she deserves. “I didn’t believe that there was still justice for common people like us.”
All our hopes were lost, we thought that we might not get our justice because we didn’t have money and big people in the government, but thank God that they have given us Justice. You no fit kill my sister, bury am and go like dat. All the family members are happy with this judgement.” Ukeme said.
He also added that his sister can now rest in peace as she has been given justice. Ukeme also begged the government to support their family with jobs as it was job hunting that led to his younger sister’s death.
Meanwhile the prosecuting counsel, Attorney General Uko Udom hailed the justice system. He said the judgement showed that the judgement system is very much at work and active, he hopes that the judgement will bring some sort of closure to the family of late Umoren.
The lawyer said most state Governor’s not signing death warrant is a complicated situation but one of the things people must canvas for is the amendment of the law which will change the mode of conviction.
“In the Nigerian law, the only way convicted murderer could be executed is by hanging, unfortunately, death by hanging is no longer prominent in Nigeria, If we change the law to find more means of execution, it will be good said Attorney Uko Udom.
The defense Counsel, Samson Adula said he is okay with the outcome of the court ruling as his job is not to defend at all cost but to ensure that all the rules of procedure are followed to the least as it is what leads to a trial.
Lawyer Samson has said that it is not in his place to make any decision regarding appealing the case but it is left for Uduak to decide.