Ini Umoren's Murder: Court Refuses Bail For Two Defendants - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Ini Umoren's Murder: Court Refuses Bail For Two Defendants

         •Late Miss Umoren • Uduak Akpan



The Daily Crucible | Published  Thursday, December 16, 2021

By Mike Oseji, South South Bureau, Asaba

Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has declined to admit to bail Mr. Frank Akpan, and his daughter, BasseyAnwan Akpan, the second and third defendants respectively in the alleged murder of job seeking Iniubong Umoren.

Frank Akpan, and his daughter, BasseyAnwan Akpan are standing trial on a charge of accessory after the fact to murder.

 The  State High Court had  on Tuesday, November 2 named Basseyanwan Akpan as an accomplice to the alleged crime - savage attack and murder of the jobseeker, Iniubong Umoren.

The presiding Justice Bassey Nkanang also issued a summons for the Chairman of Uruan Local Government Area, Iniubong Ekpenyong, to appear before it in connection with Miss Umoren murder.

Justice Nkanag took over the case from Justice Bennet Illaumo following the transfer of the latter from the court.

The Daily Crucible reports months back how job-seeking Miss Umoren was allegedly lured out of her comfort zone, assaulted, raped and murdered by Uduak Akpan.

At a resumed hearing on the matter in November, prosecution counsel and Solicitor General of Akwa Ibom State, Christopher Udoh, amended the suit and added Miss Akpan as an accomplice to the murder.

The third accused, Miss Akpan is the sister to the self-confessed murderer Uduak, and is being charged among other things, for making it difficult for his brother to be arrested.

Mr. Frank Akpan, the father of the two children had earlier been named as the second accused person in the suit.

With the naming of Miss Akpan as the third accused, the state counsel formally sought leave of the court to amend the information earlier filed.

Justice Nkanang granted the application and called for a fresh arraignment in order for the three accused persons to take their pleadings.

He, however, fixed Thursday, November 4, for the fresh plea as well as the commencement of pretrial hearing.

However, at the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, Emms Ekongson, the Counsel representing Frank Akpan, and his daughter, BasseyAnwan Akpan, made an oral application to the court to admit his clients to bail “for the sake of Justice and for the fact that the health of the second accused person was deteriorating. It is visible that he (Frank Akpan) is waning away”

According to Ekongson, the offense of which the duo was charged is a bailable offense, stressing adding, “it is not a capital offense. My Lord, there is no likelihood that they will jump bail if granted bail”.

But ruling on the bail application, Justice Bassey Nkanang said there was no evidence brought before the Court to prove that the second accused person has any medical condition.

Nkanang held that granting the bail application was at the discretion of the court which must be judicially and judiciously exercised.

He further held that since eight of the prosecution witnesses have so far testified, and only about four are remaining, adding that instead of granting bail, the court would rather continue to hear the case in an accelerated manner “with a view to determining the fate of the accused person within earliest possible time.”

The trial Judge, therefore, denied the application for bail for lacking in merit.

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