The Guild of Community Development Advocates in Akwa Ibom State, Tuesday, called on the Nigerian Police to explain why it carried out a shoddy investigation into the murder of the job-seeker, Iniubong Umoren.
The group, which is also known as Akwa Ibom State Civil Society Forum, said what the police did was a ludicrous attempt to cover up the truth about the gruesome murder of the jobseeker.
In a statement made available to The Next Edition, the Chairman, Harry Udo and Secretary, Nsekpong Udo, noted that right from the outset, the police were working hard to bungle the case.
The Next Edition has in a series of investigation exposed how the Akwa Ibom State Police command deliberately compromised the investigation into Miss Umoren’s killing.
In the first part of its report, this newspaper had unearthed the deliberate and unprofessional conduct of the police, right from when it was reported that Miss Umoren was in distress to when the self-confessed killer, Uduak Akpan was arrested.
However, in the second report, the Next Edition not only recounted the ordeal of another victim but also confirmed the transfer of Mr. Akpan, his father and an accomplice, Emem Umoren, to Ikot Ekpene Correctional Centre.
In the third report, this newspaper exclusively revealed that the Department of State Security (DSS) had submitted a fresh report to the Akwa Ibom State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
But in its statement, the coalition of rights groups have demanded the police to respond to critical issues raised by this newspaper in its several reports on the matter.
“In the light of several investigative reports by Next Edition, an online news media, the Guild of Community Development Advocates in Akwa Ibom State, a.k.a, Akwa Ibom State Civil Society Organizations Forum, the umbrella body for Civil Society Organizations in the state, expresses displeasure at the shoddy manner the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has handled the gruesome murder of Miss Iniubong Umoren in cold blood, in a ludicrous attempt at cover up of the truth about the case,” the group stated.
“The Akwa Ibom State Police command’s unprofessional handling of this matter leaves more questions than answers. From ab initio, the Police seemed to have worked to bungle the case.”
The full statement reads as follows:
PRESS STATEMENT JUNE 28, 2021
INIUBONG UMOREN: Justice Must Prevail!
“In the light of several investigative reports by Next Edition, an online news media, the Guild of Community Development Advocates in Akwa Ibom State, a.k.a, Akwa Ibom State Civil Society Organizations Forum, the umbrella body for Civil Society Organizations in the state, expresses displeasure at the shoddy manner the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has handled the gruesome murder of Miss Iniubong Umoren in cold blood, in a ludicrous attempt at cover up of the truth about the case.
“The Akwa Ibom State Police command’s unprofessional handling of this matter leaves more questions than answers. From ab initio, the Police seemed to have worked to bungle the case. A look at the following facts would confirm this.
“1. The police were alerted by the sister of the deceased, Miss Iniubong Umoren, a few minutes after she received a harrowing distress call from her, through the ‘D’ Division Police headquarters, Itam. But they told her they could not do anything until it was 24 hours. This is even after they were made aware of the distress call where Ini Umoren screamed “Jesus…Jesus”.
“2. The Police told the world they moved immediately they got wind of the incident. This of course, isn’t true as they had asked the sister to go wait until it was 24 hours.
3. Why did the police exhume the corpse of the deceased Iniubong Umoren secretly without family members, the press, and indeed, any other person being there?
“4. Upon exhuming the corpse, the police said they took it to the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital Morgue. But that isn’t true as the Next Edition investigative report shows they first took the corpse to a mortuary at Mbiokporo Nsit. Why would the police tell this lie?
“5. Even the account of the arrest of the culprit is in controversy. As there has been different accounts from different parties on how the arrest went down. The culprit had a different account of his arrest, so the Uruan Local Government Council Chairman, and another cousin of the culprit who works with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. As of today, the police still cannot state categorically how the culprit, Mr. Uduak Akpan was arrested.
“6. At the onset, the police put out that Uduak Akpan acted alone, and there was no accomplice despite the fact that Emem Emmanuel who linked the Late Iniubong Umoren to Uduak Akpan had handed himself in to the Police at ‘B’ Division Police headquarters, Ewet Housing Estate, and was duly transferred to the State Police Headquarters at Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo. The police only admitted Emem as an accomplice after the uproar by citizens. Why did the police not declare Emem Umoren an accomplice from the beginning? Were they attempting to shield him?
“7. Why did it take the police such a long time to address the press after the arrest of the culprit and his accomplice, and well after they had exhumed the body of Late Miss Iniubong Umoren.
“8. Mr Odiko Mcdon even defended the culprit while addressing the press when he said that it was the dead Iniubong Umoren that first hit Uduak Akpan with an object and he had to defend himself, suggesting that Uduak Akpan killed the young lady in self-defense.
“9. Why did the police handle the crime scene with such levity that enabled unknown persons to muddle up the crime scene and burn up vital items leading to the loss of valuable evidence that would have been gleaned from the crime scene?
“In the light of the foregoing, it becomes quite apparent that the police were quite shambolic in handling this matter. The Akwa Ibom State Civil Society Organizations Forum, therefore, do not have any iota of confidence on the approach the police have adopted on the heinous murder of a promising young girl who’s only mistake was looking for gainful employment to fend for herself. The Akwa Ibom State Civil Society Organizations Forum is quite encouraged to learn that the Akwa State Command of the Department of State Security had carried out their own investigation and have submitted their report to the Akwa Ibom State Director of Prosecutions.
“While we do not yet have the details of the report, we are confident that it would unravel the orchestrated mystery the Police seem to have strewn around the murder of Miss Iniubong Umoren in cold blood.
“The Akwa Ibom State Civil Society Organizations Forum, hereby, call on the Akwa Ibom State Director of Prosecutions to handle the matter is with utmost diligence required to ensure justice prevails for Miss Iniubong Umoren, the family she left behind and for other young people traumatized by this dastardly act. The price for justice is eternal vigilance; we will keep vigil until justice is done on this matter.”