…It’s not my statement —Uduak-Abasi Akpan
By Chioma Onuegbu
A police officer, Inspector Samuel Udoh, the 6th Prosecution Witness in the trial of Uduak-Abasi Akpan, his father and elder sister, over the murder of job seeker, Iniubong Umoren, yesterday, told Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo, that the first accused person, Uduak-Abasi Akpan, confessed raping and killing the deceased.
Trial judge in the case is Justice Bassey Nkanang.
Udoh attached to the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, in his evidence, yesterday, also told the court that Uduak-Abasi Akpan voluntarily led the police investigation team to his father’s compound in Uruan LGA and showed them the shallow grave he buried the remains of late Umoren.
Udoh, told the court that when the first accused person’s lawyer, Emmanuel Ekiko, arrived Ikot Akpan Abia Police headquarters, he and the first accused person’s father, Mr. Frank Akpan, both witnessed him make a voluntary confessional statement.
He said the first accused person confessed advertising a non existing job, which attracted the deceased, Iniubong Umoren, and also confessed directing Umoren to the storey building on arrival of the deceased in his father’s compound in Uruan.
He further told the court that the first accused person confessed raping the victim with the use of condom but during his second attempt to rape without condom, the deceased started to struggle.
He said: “The first accused person said the struggle continued to a point he used a stabiliser to hit Iniubong Umoren’s head, she fell and became unconscious. He said he hit her again at the lower abdomen and she died.
“He further confessed using a shovel to dig a shallow grave in his father’s compound close to a Mango tree, and then used a cloth to tie her remains on the neck and dragged the body to the shallow grave, and used a blanket and pillow to cover the body before covering it with sand.”
Inspector Udoh who said the first accused person after writing his statement, also read the statement, and confirmed same to be his statement in the presence of his lawyer and his father.
He further told the court that the first accused person confessed to the crime without any intimidation, torture and inducement of any kind.
But when Uduak-Abasi Akpan was shown the copy of that confessional statement at the dock, after looking at each page of the statement, he confirmed that the name and signature on the statement were his but denied writing the statement, saying, “It is not my statement.”
The defence counsel, Samson Adula, raised an objection as the prosecution counsel sought to tender that statement as evidence, claiming that the confessional statement was obtained under duress.
Adula argued that during his several conversations with his client, the first accused person, he had told him that he Uduak-Abasi Akpan was induced by the police to make the confessional statement.
Justice Nkanang, meanwhile suspended the main trial and ordered that a trial-within-trial be conducted.
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