An officer with Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service (SSS), has provided a heart-wrenching account of how a female job-seeker, Iniubong Umoren, was raped and brutally killed by her alleged attacker, Uduak Akpan, last year in Uruan, Akwa Ibom State.
The officer, simply identified as Okeke, is the 10th prosecution witness in the ongoing murder trial of the accused person, Mr Akpan, 20.
The 26-year-old Ms Umoren was lured out of her home by her alleged killer with a fake job offer.
Mr Okeke, in his testimony before a State High Court in Uyo, told the court how Miss Umoren was faced between life and death when her alleged attacker insisted on having sex with her, and how she begged him to use a condom if he must rape her.
The officer, who testified on Wednesday before Justice Bassey Nkanang, said Mr Akpan in his statement to the SSS admitted threatening to kill Miss Umoren if she would not let him have sex with her.
“He (Akpan) also told us that even when he overpowered the deceased, she told him she would allow him (have sex with her) only if he used a condom,” Mr Okeke said in court.
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“The first accused person also told the investigation team that in the process of having sex with the deceased, he removed the condom and the deceased started struggling with him again. He said while he was still on top of the deceased, she carried an iron, and hit him on the forehead.
“He said that, in order not for the deceased (Ms Umoren) to shout, he, Uduak-Abasi, now collected a black cloth, stuffed (it) into her mouth, and tied her mouth. He said he then used a standby stabilizer and hit her on the abdomen. From that point, the first accused said the deceased started bleeding profusely. He told us that he became afraid as if she had already died.
“The first accused also said he used the jeans-trouser of the deceased to strangle her completely,” the officer said.
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“He told the investigating team that he wrapped her (Ms Umoren) body with a blanket, and with her mouth still tied, and the Jeans on her neck and buried her in the grave. He further told us that the incident happened between 13:00 hours to 20:00 hours, on the 29th of April, 2021.”
The officer said Mr Akpan and the two other accused persons made their statement ‘voluntarily’ and that the SSS also analysed their phones.
Witness said Uduak-Abasi told them that, during the early hours of 30th of April, 2021, when he opened his Facebook page, he saw news with his picture and that of late Iniubong Umoren, trending that he was the one who kidnapped her.
“The first accused person said that it was what made him tell his father that he wanted to go to Calabar to meet the sister – the third accused person. My Lord, the first accused also told us that he travelled to Calabar through Oron, with a speed boat, taking along with him, the bag and phone of the deceased.
“He (first accused) said he dropped the bag and phone of the deceased in the third accused person’s house. He also said late Iniubong Umoren was not the first person he had lured to his house in Nung Ikono Obio,” Okeke testified.
Okeke further told the Court that with the confessional statement of the first accused, his team travelled to Calabar, and were able to track and recover the deceased’s Samsung Galaxy phone, adding that two persons who were arrested in respect of the phone were currently standing trial.
The trial Judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang, admitted the Samson Galaxy phone tendered in evidence by the prosecution, and marked it as Exhibit 13.
Nkanang also admitted in evidence, two phones belonging to the first accused person, and two other Nokia phones belonging to the 2nd accused person; and marked the four phones as Exhibits 14, 15, 16 and 17.
Mr Akpan’s lawyer, Samson Adula, at the point of tendering the confessional statement, objected claiming it was made under duress.
Justice Nkanang adjourned the case till February 15, for a trial-within-trial to be conducted, so as to determine the claim of involuntariness of the statement.