Uduak Akpan, the suspect accused of killing Iniubong Umoren, the lady who was lured out of her home with a fake job interview, has pleaded guilty.
Miss Umoren was raped and killed in April in the outskirts of Uyo and her remains were buried in a shallow grave in Mr Akpan’s family house where the crime took place.
In the case which is being prosecuted by the Akwa Ibom State Government, Akpan is facing a two-count of murder and rape. His father, Frank Akpan is accused of assisting him to escape after murdering his victim.
Thousands of women dressed in black outfits on Wednesday took to the streets of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State to demand justice for the Iniubong Umoren, a young lady who was raped and killed by a fraudulent job recruiter.
The protesters were led by the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Ini Adiakpan, and other women in the state executive cabinet.
The women, who were drawn from various groups including the Nigeria Union of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), the International Federation of Female Lawyers, the National Council for Women Societies, female doctors among other organisations walked major roads in Uyo, the state capital to demand justice.
The women insist that justice must be served for the family of Iniubong Umoren, the 26-year-old graduate of Philosophy from the University of Uyo.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as “Justice for Iniubong, justice for all”, “We need a safe society for women”, “Stop abusing our children”, among others.
They also demanded that a thorough investigation must be carried out into the circumstances surrounding Umoren’s murder.
After walking through major roads in the capital city, the women assembled at the popular Globe along Wellington Bassey Way, where they were addressed by the wife of the state governor, Mrs Martha Emmanuel.
The governor’s wife said the society should put a stop to sexual violence against women.
“Enough is Enough, Iniubong Umoren has paid the price for rape and murder,” she said.
She expressed concern over the ugly trend and led the women in prayer against rape, murder, kidnapping, cultism, and other vices.
Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday demanded that the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba, take over the murder case of Miss Iniobong Umoren who was killed in Akwa Ibom after she was lured with a fake job offer.
The House urged the IGP to ensure that justice is done by taking over the investigation and prosecution of the suspects.
The resolution of the House follows a matter of urgent public importance raised by Unyime Idem representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam the federal constituency of Akwa Ibom State.
They also mandated the IGP to ensure the protection of Umoren’s family members from harassment, intimidation and harm.
Idem told the House that the family members of the deceased have reportedly raised an alarm of receiving strange phone calls and threats of various degrees and have been asked to withdraw the case.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development to follow up with the investigation and prosecution and ensure compliance.
Find below the note presented by Representative Unyime Idem to the House:
Matter Of Urgent Public Importance
A Call For Comprehensive Investigation, Prosecution And Punishment Of The Perpetrator(S) Of The Kidnapping, Sexual Assault, Physical Assault And Heinous Killing Of Miss Iniobong Ephraim Umoren And The Need To Protect Her Family Members
Rep. Unyime Idem
Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency
AWARE that on April 30, 2021, the Anti-kidnapping Squad of the Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigeria Police Force received a criminal report on the disappearance of Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren who left her house on a fateful day in search of employment.
NOTE that Miss Iniubong Umoren was a graduate of the University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State who was without employment since her graduation from the University.
NOTE ALSO that available information has it that she received a phone call from the assailant who pretentiously called her and invited her to a false interview of an advertised job.
AWARE that the innocent Miss Iniubong Umoren was later found dead by the Officers of the Nigeria Police Force after an official report and with the help of a wide reportage of her disappearance and information of the false interview on social media platforms. Her body was further exhumed where it was buried in a shallow grave by her assailant.
COGNIZANT that It has been reported that the assailant upon his arrest by the police and subsequent voluntary confession boasted that he is well connected and will be released from the Police custody scot-free in a matter of days.
BOTHERED that the family members of the deceased have reportedly raised an alarm of receiving strange phone calls and threats of various degrees and have been asked to withdraw the case.
REGRETS that the Nigeria Police Force has been reporting a surging high record in rape and gender violation across the country. Unfortunately, a very scary number of cases have been reported daily with thousands unreported. These acts are a gross violation of human rights to dignity, life, and sexuality.
CONCERNED that the public outrage on account of rape and other violent crimes against women and the girl child should not go unpunished as a deterrent for the perpetrators and others nursing the thought to forestall future occurrence
Condemn in strong terms, the act of sexual assault and gruesome murder of Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren as barbaric, inhuman, and despotic
Mandate the Inspector General of Police to immediately commission and take over the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Mandate the Inspector General of Police to ensure the protection of her family members from harassment, intimidation, and harm.
Mandate the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development to follow up with the investigation and prosecution; ensure compliance and report back to the House.
Observe a minute silence in honour of the deceased and other victims of this nefarious act.
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has promised that the government will ensure the killer of Miss Iniubong Umoren does not go unpunished.
He made the promise on Monday when he led some members of the State Executive Council on a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.
Umoren was the lady kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a young man who had promised her employment.
A suspect identified as Uduak Frank Akpan has since been arrested by the police in connection with the killing.
Governor Emmanuel, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, lamented that the whole state was saddened by the gruesome murder of the young jobseeker.
He condemned the killing of Umoren which he said was at variance with the state government’s efforts at encouraging the youths to be engaged in profitable ventures.
The governor decried that the late young lady was awaiting her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) call-up letter for her mandatory national service before the incident.
He was, however, confident in the ability and commitment of the police to ensuring that justice was served, adding that the state government would not interfere with the investigations.
Speaking on behalf of Umoren’s family, her brother and sister, Ukeme and Ifiok, thanked the governor for the visit and appealed to him to ensure that justice was allowed to take its course.
The state government entourage on the visit included the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Ini Emememobong; Commissioner for Education, Idongesit Etiebet, and the Commissioner of Women Affairs, Ini Adiakpan.
A Journey Of No Return
Late Umoren had shared a post on Twitter in which she said she needed a job to keep her mind and soul together on Tuesday last week.
#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 in thinking ctitically and most importantly a fast learner. CV available on request.
Thereafter, she was said to have been contacted by Akpan who promised her a job and invited her over to his place.
Rather than getting the job as promised, Umoren’s hope and dream of becoming a great person in life were shattered as the visit to the purported employer became a journey of no return.
Worried by the sudden disappearance of their daughter, her family lodged a complaint at the police station in Uruan – a local government in Akwa Ibom State.
Umoren’s killing sparked outrage on social media as Nigerians demanded that the jobseeker’s killer be made to face justice.
The police also confirmed the arrest of the 20-year-old suspect in a statement on Sunday by the spokesman for the command.
Read the full statement below:
UPDATE ON THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MISS INIOBONG EPHRAIM UMOREN
The Akwa Ibom State Police Command has arrested one UDUAK FRANK AKPAN, 20 years old for kidnapping, raping, and murdering one Miss Iniobong Umoren.
On 30/04/2021, the Command received a report on the disappearance of the victim.
Following available leads, Men of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the Command, led by CSP Inengiye IGOSI, consolidated on the initial great progress made by the DPO Uruan, SP Samuel Ezeugo, and arrested the perpetrator who confessed to have lured his victim to his house in the guise of giving her a job but ended up sexually and physically assaulting her which led to her death.
To cover his tracks, he dragged and buried her in a shallow grave in his father’s compound.
The deceased has been exhumed and deposited at UUTH for autopsy.
The suspect confessed to have told his Local Government Chairman of his atrocity before escaping to Calabar and was never at any time handed over to the police by anyone.
Suspect is a confessed serial rapist who has owned up to the raping of other victims. He will be charged to court at the conclusion of the investigation.
The Commissioner of Police, CP AMIENGHENE ANDREW, fdc, psc(+) has called on youths and job seekers to be wary of the activities of scammers and other men of the underworld.
While appreciating the efforts of the social media family and other fighters of injustice, he has condoled with the family and friends of the deceased.