Uduakabasi Akpan, the suspected killer of a 26-year-old Akwa-Ibom jobseeker, Iniobong Umoren, has pleaded guilty to the charge of murder.
The 20-year-old, however, denied raping the victim.
He was arraigned on Monday, July 26, 2021, along with his father, Frank Akpan, before the Akwa Ibom State High Court 6, on three counts of murder, rape and accessory after the facts.
Umoren, a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, was allegedly lured, abducted, raped and murdered on April 29, 2021 by Uduakabasi, who acted on the pretext of offering her a job.
According to the police, the offences are punishable under sections 326(1) and 367 of the Criminal Code, Cap. 33, Vol. 2 Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria 2000.
When the charges were read during the arraignment, the first accused pleaded guilty to the murder charge, but pleaded not guilty to the second charge of rape.
His father, Frank, pleaded not guilty to the charge of accessory after the facts.
Consequently, the court, presided over by Justice Bennett Illaumo, remanded both father and son and adjourned the matter till August 18, 2021 for hearing.
Speaking with reporters shortly after the proceedings, the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Uko Udom (SAN), assured the public that justice would be done.
He said a capital offence does not carry any time bar, adding that in the next 10 years or more anybody found guilty in the same matter could still be prosecuted.
“Count three is talking about accessory after the facts. If someone commits an offence and another person assists that person in an attempt to evade justice, you are charged with accessory after the facts,” he added.