Iniubong Umoren: How Uduak Akpan changed plea twice to escape justice

Iniubong Umoren alleged killer Uduak Akpan

Akwa Ibom State High Court on Thursday, August 4 sentenced Uduak Akpan to death by hanging for the murder of Iniubong Umoren.

Justice Bassey Nkanang, who delivered judgement for two hours, also found Mr Akpan guilty of rape.

The court however discharged and acquitted Uduak’s father, Frank Akpan, and his sister, Anwan Bassey.

Umoren, a graduate of philosophy, University of Uyo, was killed in April 2021. She was job hunting while awaiting mobilisation for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.

Uduak attempted to escape from the courtroom when the court passed judgement. He was however overpowered.

When he first appeared in court on July 26, 2021, he pleaded guilty to murder, but not guilty to rape.

Akpan later changed his plea, saying he did not rape nor kill Umoren.

He told the court that he had a fever the day he pleaded guilty and that it was the influence of the investigating police officer that made him plead guilty.

The convict also denied the confessional statements he made to the police, stressing that a similar statement made to the Department of State Services (DSS) was done under duress.

The convict’s father Akpan had also told the court that his son had a mental disorder and was an outpatient at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.

Uduak lured Umoren out of her home in Uyo with a fake job interview.

Umoren’s friend, Uduak Umoh, had tweeted that she heard Umoren scream for help when she established contact with her on the phone.

Umoren went missing on April 29, 2021. The police exhumed her corpse from a shallow grave on April 30, 2021.