Uduak Umoh, the best friend to murdered Akwa Ibom job seeker, Iniubong Umoren, and the deceased elder sister, Ifiok Umoren, have given their testimonies at the ongoing trial of Uduak Akpan, the suspected killer.
Akpan, a 20-year old undergraduate, is standing trial alongside his father, Frank Akpan, and elder sister, Anwan Bassey Akpan, over the gruesome murder of Iniubong whom he was said to have lured, raped, and killed under the guise of offering her a job.
Testifying before Justice Bassey Nkanang at the state High Court, Umoh told the court that her late friend had on April 29, 2021, told her that she was going for a job interview in Uruan Local Government Area, but that she did not have transport fare.
She said she transferred the sum of N2,000 as fare to the supposed venue of the interview, adding that she advised her friend to send the name as well as the phone number of the person she was going to meet and put on the Google map on her phone which she did.
The witness informed the court that she was communicating with her friend even at the time she arrived at the venue but was shocked when her friend suddenly sent a voice note to her screaming and the call ended abruptly.
She further informed the court that at that point she became agitated and began to call her friend’s line but it was not answered noting that she quickly made a post on social media tagging the face of Uduak Akpan, the accused, whose picture she got from Facebook.
Umoh disclosed that as soon as she made the post, that one Miriam Akpan made a comment that she was a victim of a scam job interview offered by the accused, Uduak Akpan. She said Miriam accused Akpan of raping her, taking her nude pictures, and seizing her android phone with the help of his sister who is the third accused in the case.
After giving her evidence, she was crossed examined and thereafter, the fourth prosecution witness and elder sister of the deceased, Ifiok Umoren in her own evidence, corroborated the testimony of the third prosecution witness.
Ifiok told the court that when she got the information, she made an official report to Uruan Divisional Police headquarters but was told to come back after 48 hours if they did not return home.
She said at the expiration of the 48 hours, on 1st May 2021, she went to the Anti Kidnapping Unit of Akwa Ibom State Police Command’s Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, she was told that Uduak Frank Akpan has confessed that he killed Iniubong Umoren and buried her in a shallow grave in his residence, Uruan.
The trial judge, before adjourning the matter, charged lawyers to advocate for the review of 48 hours rule on the police investigation of missing persons, as such could save lives of missing people who are in danger.
The court also admitted in evidence, the photograph of the exhumed body of Iniubong Umoren as an exhibit, and the case was adjourned till Thursday (tomorrow) to take the evidence of the pathologist