…It Was Necessary To Have The Press Conference, Says CP Andrew Amiengheme
The Akwa Ibom State Police Command in Nigeria’s South-South has paraded Uduak Frank Akpan, the murderer of a job seeker, Iniubong Umoren, to dismiss rumour of his death in custody.
Uduak Akpan, the prime suspect in the murder of job seeker, Iniubong Umoren yesterday narrated how he hit her head with a stabilizer after raping her. And he said he was not afraid to die for his action if that was the only way justice would be served.
Akpan was paraded along with his father, Frank Akpan, in Uyo by the Akwa Ibom Police Commissioner Andrew Amiengheme, following a social media report that the suspect had committed suicide in custody to shield other suspects.
The state commissioner of police, Andrew Amiengheme, said it was necessary to have the press conference because of the rumour that was going around in the media that the suspect had committed suicide in the cell.
Akpan also explained the role of his cousin Kufre Effiong who he said sent him a text with the number of a Divisional Police Officer in Uruan local government area, SP Samuel Ezeugo to pick him up when he arrived Uyo, the Akwa-Ibom state capital. Akpan said he met Mr Ezeugo and they drove off in Kufre’s vehicle.
How It Started From Seeking Job to Rape and Murder:
Nigerians flooded Twitter with reports of missing job seeker, Umoren Iniubong after some hours, though the police have been blamed for insisting on waiting for 48 hours before Umoren could be declared missing after her friends and family had lodged complaints, they later claimed to have made some arrests in connection with her death.
Umoren Iniubong, a 26-year-old graduate of the University of Uyo, who was first kidnapped and raped before she was killed by a suspect who posed as an employer, Uduak Frank Ezekiel Akpan.
Umoren had on April 29, 2021 tweeted about her desire to get a job, and was reached by the suspected killer who invited her for an interview, only to be declared missing by her friend after some hours.
Iniubong had dropped a tweet on her handle last Tuesday seeking a job and got many replies in that regard.
She wrote, “ @Hiny Humoren #AkwaIbomTwitter please I’m really in need of a job, something to do to keep mind and soul together while contributing dutifully to the organisation. My location is Uyo, I’m creative, really good at thinking critically and most importantly a fast learner. CV available on request.”
It was her friend, Happiness Activist (@UmohUduak1) who raised the alarm after receiving a short message from her on the day she went for a supposedly job interview.
Rather than employ her, it was gathered that Akpan took Iniubong to his house, where he killed her.
Umoren Iniubong Family’s Statement:
Ukeme Umoren, elder brother of murdered Akwa Ibom job-seeker, Iniubong Umoren, has said the family is certain that justice will be served.
He spoke to Journalists on the murder of his sister, a 26-year-old graduate of the University of Uyo, who was first kidnapped and raped before she was killed by a suspect who posed as an employer, Uduak Frank Ezekiel Akpan.
Ukeme said he was certain that justice would be served.
He expressed absolute faith in the police department stating that he is confident the Commissioner of Police will not allow anyone to sweep the case under the carpet.
He said, “The culprit has been arrested and he is at the police station. He has confessed to the crime. We are still on how to get justice for her. You know we met with the commissioner of police, he said the investigation is still going on. I have faith that justice will be served.”
Umoren Iniubong’s Burial Rite:
Murdered Akwa Ibom Job-Seeker, Umoren Iniubong, 26, was laid to rest on Friday May 14, 2021 in her hometown of Nung Ita Ikot Essien, Oruk Anam Local Government Area of the state amid tears.
Iniubong’s relatives, friends and sympathisers were all tears yesterday as she was laid to rest in her hometown of Nung Ita Ikot Essien in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Also in attendance were students of the Faculty of Arts, University of Uyo where the deceased read Philosophy.
Despite a down pour, the funeral conducted by Faith Tabernacle Congregation, Ikot Ibritam District Oruk Anam, started at exactly at 10:50am, following the lying in state at her father’s compound.
The brother of the deceased, Mr. Ukeme Ephraim Umoren, appreciated members of the community, relatives and friends for coming from far and near to mourn with them. He also commended the state government and security agencies for the support offered to the family in their moment of grief.
Fielding questions from newsmen, the House of Representatives member for Ukanafun/Oruk Anam, Mr. Unyime Idem, vowed that the brains behind the murder of Iniubong would be brought to book.
He urged the people of Oruk Anam LGA and the student community to remain law abiding even as relevant government authorities are working to ensure the deceased got justice. Arc Ezekiel Nya- Etok and Chairman of Oruk Anam Local Government Area were among other dignitaries that graced the funeral.
The deceased had first been buried in a shallow grave in Nung Ikono Obio village in Uruan Local Government Area of the state by her alleged killer.
Uduak Frank Ezekiel Akpan, Killer of Umoren Iniubong’s Confession:
Uduak Frank Ezekiel Akpan, who wore an orange T-shirt with the inscription ‘The Mudder Squad’ and appeared unperturbed, said it was true he invited Iniubong over for a fake job and then demanded to have sex with her.
His said “What happened was that she came for the supposed job interview. I decided to use reverse psychology on her.
“I told her whether she can work in a farm where hard drugs are kept as a secretary. She said that she could; that she was ready to work.
“I told her this farm doesn’t exist; that is was just a hoax. I told her that before we could even start, I would like to have sex with her, and she agreed. But she gave a condition that I should use a condom, which I agreed.”
“While I removed the condom, she became furious and picked the nearby stabilizer to hit me on my head. She bit my left ring finger.
“While I was bleeding, in a bid to stop her, I used the stabilizer also and hit her. And when I hit her, she fell down, and she died.”
He then proceeded to hit her in the belly. He said Iniubong was not the first victim of his ‘reversed psychology’, but she was the only one that died.
“It was not my intention to kill her, but if at the end of everything I am found guilty, I am ready to also die,” he said.
Asked about alleged shallow graves, clothes, books and other belongings of several victims in the compound, Akpan said there were no other victims. The NYSC pair of shoes belongs to my mother, and we used it for farm work,” he said.
“The books belong to me and my sister.” He absolved his father of any form of involvement in the murder, saying he was neither around nor assisted him in any way to kill or bury the remains of the deceased.
Asked about his motive for inviting the lady to the house when there was no job, the suspect said: “I have had very bad experiences with runs girls and prostitutes. I asked whether she can work in a farm where hard drugs are kept and she accepted. She even told me she took marijuana and cocaine.
“I felt that that was the best way to revenge for the runs girls and prostitutes. I used to patronise prostitutes but now I don’t.
“I am not happy about what happened. But the commissioner of police has assured Akwa Ibomites and the entire world that justice will take its course.”
He said if the justice talked about by the police meant his life being taken, he was prepared to die.
His father, Frank Akpan, a retired director in the federal civil service, denied knowledge of the crime until he was invited by the police. But he admitted that the house in which the murder was committed belongs to him.
He also denied knowledge of his son taking undue advantage of six girls in the compound. He said: “I’m not aware of that. The reason is that we just relocated from Abuja.
“I have not been around for 30 years. We have been living outside, we just relocated because I’m retired. It is not even up to two years since we came back.” He denied ever being in the business of selling human parts as alleged.
When asked to comment on the kind of justice he expects in the case, Mr Akpan stuttered and said: “I’m not happy about what my child has done. I don’t even believe this can happen to me after I sent them to school, tried to bring them up. Yea, justice can be done if the system so permits.”
Police Commissioner’s Statement:
Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme gave assurance that the police would do their utmost to ensure that justice is not only done but seen to have been done, stressing that the police cannot cover up any crime in the state irrespective of who is involved.
He said he was “under pressure from within and outside Nigeria to reveal the truth behind the rumour.” He told of how he had “been inundated with calls all over the world that the prime suspect in the murder of Miss Iniubong Umoren has committed suicide in police custody.”
He said police investigation so far has not revealed any mass grave in the compound where the alleged murder of Iniubong took place.
He promised that diligent investigation was continuing and the case would be transferred to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) when all angles in the matter have been fully explored.
Twenty-year-old Akpan is a 200 level student of Public Administration at Obong University, Obong Ntak.
Investigative Journalist, David Hundeyin and Godswill Akpabio:
Independent investigative journalist, David Hundeyin, who blew the lid off Iniubong’s murder, yesterday told Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio to stop threatening him with a lawsuit over his findings and publication on the killing of Miss Iniubong Umoren.
Hundeyin had in a series of tweets and other online publications alleged that the prime suspect in the murder was using an hotel owned by Akpabio’s wife, Unoma, in Uyo for nefarious activities.
Akpabio’s lawyer, Otobong Inyang, had written to Hundeyin demanding the retraction of the publication and an apology from the journalist within 14 days, failing which he would take legal action.
In the letter, Akpabio claimed the author’s publications gave the impression that he and his wife, Mrs. Ekaete Unoma Akpabio, were not only complicit in the death of Iniobong Umoren but were also members of a syndicate specialising in the procurement, sale and/or use of human body parts for rituals among others.
He said: “In the said report which you published on your Twitter handle @DavidHundeyin, Facebook Page/Timeline and on several online news channels/platforms such as NewsWireNGR of 1l/5/2021, e.t.c., you alleged that a certain Kufre Effiong was complicit in the alleged murder and also attempted to portray our clients as being members of an alleged syndicate responsible for perpetuating the dastardly act.”
The minister demanded retractions and public apology to be published in NewswireNGR, the author’s Twitter Handle, Facebook Page/Timeline and all other online news/media platforms and channels he used to publish the allegations.
However, the journalist, responding on his Twitter handle @DavidHundeyin yesterday, said: “Instead of sending old policemen to fight with me on TV or threatening me with lawsuits, just authorise Airtel and MTN to release the voice note of the conversation between Frank Akpan and Kufre Effiong. Very simple and will end this controversy. No need for plenty talk.”
Akwa Ibom State Government’s Statement:
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has assured the people of the state that government would leave no stone unturned to expose the backers of Uduak Akpan, the prime suspect in Iniubong’s murder.
The governor, speaking during the 8th edition of ‘The Governor Speaks’ broadcast, expressed confidence in the ability of the security agencies to get to the root of the matter.
Emmanuel assured that his administration would do everything humanly possible to ensure that investigation is not compromised. Governor Emmanuel said we’ll uncover backers of Iniubong’s killer. He offered his condolences to the bereaved family.