An Uyo High Court Tuesday heard the evidence of a retired Deputy Director of the Federal Civil Service, Mr. Frank Akpan, who is standing trial with his son, Uduak, and his daughter, Bassey-Anwan, in the case of the murder of Ini-Ubong Umoren.
Mr. Akpan, who was testifying in his defense, told the court that he did not know the late Iniubong Umoren, nor was aware of the victim’s death until he was brought to the Court for the trial.
Mr. Frank Akpan is standing trial for accessory after the fact of the murder.
His evidence is coming a few days after his son, Uduak Frank Akpan, the first accused person, in his defense, had denied knowing the late Iniubong Umoren.
The second accused told the Court that he was not also aware that the body of Iniubong was exhumed in his compound in Nung Ikono Ufok, Uruan Local Government Area.
According to him, on the day the said incident occurred, he was in the house of his secondary school classmate at Uko Eshiet Street, Uyo, and only returned home at about 7 in the evening, to be told by his son that, there was an undisclosed medical emergency for which he advised him to hold on till the next morning.
The accused person said his son came back then and told him that he was traveling to Calabar.
This according to him, was before he heard a knock on the gate of his house by Policemen from Uruan Divisional Headquarters who later told him that they were in search of a missing lady.
He said he conducted the Police around his house and thereafter, was taken to the Police Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Uyo, where he was detained, until his son was arrested and himself freed from Police custody.
Continuing his evidence, Mr. Frank Akpan said that after a month, he was arrested by the DSS and taken to Ikot Ekpene Correctional Centre, and then, transferred to Uyo Prison.
Concerning the text message he allegedly sent to his daughter’s phone stating quote “He was using a flying boat, he should not be talking about dying, but escaping” unquote the accused person admitted that he sent the text but that he was not referring it to his son’s escape.
Counsel to the accused person, Barr. Abasiodiong Ekpenyong at that point, interrupted the prosecution to raise an objection to the date and time the text was sent.
Barrister Ekpenyong later explained his reason for raising the objection in an interview with AKBC News.
Counsel to Uduak Frank Akpan, Barr. Sampson Adula drew the attention of the Court to the statement by Mr. Frank Akpan that his son, Uduak had a mental health issue and was an outpatient of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital.
This is how the Defense lawyer later explained why he did the cross-examination
After the prosecution led by the State Solicitor-General, Barr. Christopher Udo had cross-examined the accused person, and the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang adjourned the case to the 10th and 11th of May, 2022, for the continuation of defense by the third accused person.