ONE Miriam Akpan, the seventh Prosecution Witness, PW7, in the trial of Uduak-Abasi Akpan, his father and sister over the alleged murder of 26-year-old job seeker, Iniubong Umoren, has told an Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo, how the first accused person lured her with a fake job offer and then raped her.
Miriam Akpan, a domestic servant residing in Lagos, said she first came in contact with Uduak Akpan December, 4, 2020. She said she got a direct message from a lady, Blessing Lazarus, on a Facebook post about a job vacancy in Uyo.
She narrated: “She asked me if I can work in an integrated farm as a secretary and I told her yes.
“She told me she was not the one in-charge but her manager; that she is only a cousin to the manager, and that if I should do well in the interview, the job would be mine.
“She proceeded to give me the manager’s phone number.
“Before I made the call to the manager, I asked her where the place was located, and she told me that I should pick a tricycle to Oron Road and from there, I should stop at Ibiaku Junction and from the junction I should pick a bike to Nung Ikono Obio.
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“She told me that there is a duplex and that it has a black gate with an inscription ‘Beware of dogs’ and that there was a town hall opposite the house and a church beside it.
“I told her that where I was staying was far. She said they have a staff bus. I proceeded to call her manager.
“I called him around 2p.m., on December 4, 2020, he didn’t answer the call.
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“But he texted me immediately to tell me that he was at a meeting. I called him later and the manager told me to start coming for the interview.
“I pleaded with him that it was late, he didn’t say anything but ended the call. I contacted Blessing Lazarus, I pleaded with her to tell her manager to reschedule. She agreed that she will talk to him.
“On December 5, 2020, I received a call from the manager around 3p.m. that I should start coming for the interview.
“I left immediately. On getting to Oron Road, I called him, he did not answer, he messaged me immediately to meet him at Ibiaku Junction.
“When I got to Ibiaku Junction, I called he did not answer.
“He sent me a message ‘pick a bike to Ibiaku Ikono Obio opposite the town hall, stop at the black gate.
“When I got there, Uduak Akpan came out. He said he was the manager. He sat down on the bench outside.
“He asked me to tell him the truth what his cousin told me. I told him that she only told me about the integrated farm.
“He asked ‘Are you sure she didn’t tell you anything about drugs?’ I said ‘no.’
“He then asked to what extent do I love money. And my answer was to any extent as far as it was legal.
“He asked whether I have any friend that has offended me that I wished dead. And I said no.
“He went ahead and said, if I can bring my friend that whatever they will do to her will not be linked to me and that he will pay me handsomely. And I said no.
“He then said that means I don’t love money. He said in the integrated farm that they deal on drugs and that the government knows about it.
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“He said that before he employs anybody, he has to test the drugs on the person. I pleaded with him.
“He said if the drugs were too much on me that there is tonic water that he will give me to drink that will flush the drugs out of my system.
“I was kneeling, begging him and he said if I want to go, I had to do as he said. He asked me if I gave anybody his phone number before coming, and I said yes.
“And he said I messed up. He said I should stand up immediately and take the drugs if I want to go. He then brought out three wraps of marijuana from his pocket.
“He lit two and fed me one and he showed me how to inhale it while he was smoking one. I took the first one and nothing happen to me.
“He mixed the second one, he was taking me round the compound, asking me if I could still recognise what was in front of me? And I said yes. He fed me the second one, and nothing happened to me.
“He told me that I need to help him, that he was high and he needed to have sex. I started crying and begging him, and he said if I want to go, I really have to do it.
“After much pleading, I removed my trousers and he raped me in the process. I tried to escape. I screamed and immediately he got hold of me, he lifted me up and entered the house.
“On getting inside the house, I saw a lady he called Emem and it was the same lady I spoke to on the phone.
“Then Emem said to him (Uduak Akpan), is that what they asked you to do? Uduak did not reply.
“I was still begging him to let me go and he now said I should undress completely. He brought out his phone and took a nude picture of me.
“After that he said I should wait that he will call a bike to come and pick me up. He insisted that he will follow me on the same bike, so that I will not raise alarm.
“He dropped me at the Ibiaku Junction and he said if I mentioned it to anybody that he will track me down, that he knows where I am staying. So, I didn’t mention it to anybody.”
During cross examination by counsel to Uduak-Abasi Akpan (first accused person), she told the court that she arrived at the Akpan’s residence around 5p.m., on December 5, 2020, and left around 1a.m., the following day.
Miriam Akpan further testified that she knew one Uduak Joseph Umoh, when she logged into her twitter on April 29, 2021, at 10p.m., and saw a picture of Uduak Akpan, alongside a caption with the picture of a missing person, Iniubong Umoren.
She said immediately she commented, “This idiot raped me in December,’ Uduak Joseph Umoh messaged me directly and pleaded for the direction of the accused persons house, which she obliged her.
She also said she didn’t inform the police about the rape because she was afraid of the threat by Uduak Akpan.
She added that she believed why he spared his life was because she told him that she gave out his number to some of her friends including one Ability Oscar.
Also, the Akwa Ibom State High Court on Wednesday refused to admit to bail Mr. Frank Akpan, and his daughter, Anwan Bassey Akpan, the second and third defendants respectively in the alleged murder of job seeker Iniubong Umoren.
The second and third accused persons are standing trial on a charge of accessory after the fact to murder.
The Counsel representing the duo, Emms Ekongson had, on Wednesday, 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, as well as adjourned the case for further hearing.