Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo, the state capital, has sentenced 21-year-old Uduak Akpan to death by hanging for the murder of Akwa Ibom job seeker, Iniubong Umoren.
The court also found the accused guilty of rape and accordingly sentenced him to life imprisonment for having carnal knowledge of the deceased whom he lured to his father’s house in Uruan Local Government in April 2021, under the pretext of offering her a job.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang, discharged and acquitted the convict’s father, Frank Akpan; and sister, Anwan Bassey.
However, there was confusion in the court as the convict attempted to escape shortly after the sentence was announced by the trial judge.
Our correspondent reported that the convict stepped out of the dock and grabbed a lawyer by the neck before security operatives moved in and held him.
Speaking after the court sitting, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Uko Udom (SAN), expressed satisfaction over the judgment.
“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 the justice system works. We are very happy about the outcome of the case.”
Counsel for Akpan, Samson Adula, also said justice had been served.
“All we are interested in is justice, and justice has been done, the person that was supposed to be convicted has been convicted, the other two defendants were discharged and acquitted, that is justice of the case. The work of the defence counsel is to ensure the rules were followed and not to defend at all cost,” he said.