Akwa Ibom State High Court, sitting in Uyo, has begun the full trial of one Uduak Frank Akpan in the gruesome murder of IniUbong Umoren, a job seeker and graduate of the University of Uyo, whose life was allegedly taken by the accused, when she went to him for a job interview.
At the evidence-in-chief, the elder sister of the deceased, Miss Ifiok Ephraimite Umoren, testified that her sister left her home on 24th April, 2021 for the interview in Nung Ikono Ufok, Uruan, where she was killed.
Umoren, who is the first prosecution witness in the matter, told the Court that her sister informed her through WhatsApp message that she was invited by Uduak Frank Akpan, for the job interview.
She said her sister sent her the phone number of Uduak Frank Akpan to confirm the location of the interview, since she did not know where Nung Ikono Ufok was located.
Umoren said she later traced the death of her sister to Uduak Frank Akpan by circumstances of the fact that he was with her sister, when she met her death.
The evidence in chief by the first prosecution witness was not concluded, neither was she cross examined when the Solicitor General, Christopher Udoh, Esquire applied for adjournment to continue the evidence on a later date.
In an earlier session, there was a pretrial, when the Solicitor General, who represented the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Uko Udom, SAN, said the prosecution intends to call twelve witnesses and tender 16 exhibits.
He also applied for 12 days to begin and end the prosecution’s case, just as he informed the Court that the State may file a notice for additional evidence in the course of the trial.
On his part, Counsel to Uduak Frank Akpan, Sampson Abdula, Esquire, who is the Akwa Ibom State Coordinator of Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, told the Court the first accused will be calling four witnesses.
Counsel to the second accused and father of the first accused, Emms Ekongson, Esquire, said he does not intend to call any other witness.
The Counsel had brought an application for bail of the second accused, a retired Director in the Federal Civil Service, but the application was struck out by the Court on the ground that the Counsel brought the application by way of summon and not motion as required by law.
After listening to both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Bennett Illaumoh said the Court would not entertain frivolous adjournments in the matter but adjourned the case to 1st of November, 2021 for continuation of trial.