Akwa Ibom state High Court, sitting in Uyo, has been sentenced to death by hanging a 21-year-old Uduak Akpan, who murdered a job seeker, Iniubong Umoren.
Umoren, who was a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Uyo, was murdered in April 2022 while seeking a job and his murderer, Akpan was arraigned in court in August.
The court also sentenced the accused to life imprisonment for raping the deceased who he lured to his father’s house in Uruan local government area under the pretext of offering her a job.
In more than two hours of the judgment delivered, Thursday, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang, discharged and acquitted the convict’s father, Frank Akpan, and sister, Anwan Bassey (2nd and 3rd defendants) accused of accessory after the fact to murder, respectively.
Nkanang said: “This court has proved beyond reasonable doubts that you, Uduak Akpan are guilty of murder, and you are charged accordingly. You are to die by hanging until you rot away.”
However, there was confusion in the court as the convict attempted to escape shortly after the sentence was announced by the trial judge. He came out of the dock and immediately rushed out to escape before he was held at the door by security agents, including the police and prison officers.
Speaking after the judgment, the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Uko Udom, expressed satisfaction over the ruling on the matter.
“I thank the presiding judge over the way and manner this matter has been conducted. The judge was able to take a day out, tried the case on a day-to-day basis, and at the end of the day, we had a judgment that shows the justice system works. We are very happy about the outcome of the case.”
Speaking on the next line of action, the commissioner said, “As you can see, the first defendant has been led into custody and the 2nd and 3rd defendant have been discharged and acquitted, we intend as a state to analyse that judgment and see if there are any grouse and take a decision, but the judge has done a good job.”