Iniubong Umoren: Akpan’s claim of making confessional statement under duress, sloppy afterthought – Justice Nkanang

Justice Bassey Nkanang, the presiding judge in the case of Uduak Akpan, the suspected killer of Iniubong Umoren, has described the claims of the accused that he made his confessional statement to police under duress as a clear afterthought.

It could be recalled that the Police Investigating Officer, Inspector Samuel Udo had on 16th of November, 2021, while testifying, sought to tender the confessional statement made by the accused person, Uduak Frank Akpan, but his Counsel, Sampson Adula objected to the admissibility of the statement on grounds of involuntariness.

But, the State High Court sitting in Uyo, during a trial within the trial, on Monday, dismissed the allegation of involuntariness of the confessional statement by Uduak Akpan, the first accused person.

The court, however, admitted in evidence and marked as exhibit six, the statement of the accused, Akpan, in which he had confessed to the Police that he murdered Iniubong Umoren, whom he lured to his house in Uruan LGA for a fake job interview on 30th April 2021.

Justice Nkanang held that the confessional statement of Uduak Frank Akpan was freely and voluntarily made.

According to the presiding judge, “I have appraised the testimonies of the witnesses in this trial within trial and I have juxtaposed them with the requirements for challenging the admissibility of a document on grounds of involuntariness.

” The confession of the first accused person as set out in his contested statement of 30th April 2021 is largely corroborated by the evidence of the Prosecution witnesses.

“The allegation by Uduak Frank Akpan that he made the confessional statement under duress is clearly a sloppy afterthought and when considered it side by side with the totality of the circumstances.”

“The sole issue for determination herein is resolved in favour of the Prosecution and the allegation of the instant statement of the first accused person as raised, canvassed and escalated in this trial within trial by and on behalf of the first accused person is hereby discountenanced and dismissed.”

“I am clearly of the view and I proceed to hold that the statement of the first accused person made to the Police at the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Uyo on the 30th April 2021 sought to be tendered by the Prosecution was voluntarily made. It is hereby admitted in evidence and marked as Exhibit six.”

He adjourned the matter till Tuesday, December 14 for the continuation of hearing