#JusticeForHinnyUmoren: Court postpones trial to Jan 31st as defence Lawyer withdraws from case

NEWS DIGEST – The continuous hearing on the case of Uduak-Abasi Akpan, his father, and sister at Akwa Ibom State High Court, sitting in Uyo, on the alleged murder of a job seeker, late Iniubong Umoren has been postponed.

The postponement on Friday, January 14, 2022 due to the exit of Counsel to the second and third accused persons from the case.

The second and third accused persons are Mr. Frank Akpan and his daughter, Bassey Anwan Akpan. They both have been standing trial on two-count of the murder of late Iniubong Umoren and harbouring Frank Akpan, the first accused person to escape punishment.

Recall that NEWS DIGEST had earlier reported in May 2021, on how Iniubong Umoren disappeared and the police had confirmed her death.

Four months after the death of Iniubong Umoren, this reporter had an exclusive interview with the immediate sister of Iniobong, Miss Ifiok Ephraim Umoren, clamouring for justice on the death of her younger sister.

Yesterday, 14th of January, the lead Counsel Emms Ekongson, informed the Court of the termination of their articulation of both of his clients.

In a letter received by the Court and read by the Clerk of the Court, Ekongson noted that the conclusion to cancel their representation followed the letdown of the family of his clients (The Akpans) to pay his fees.

In the court proceeding, Counsel to the first accused person, and Coordinator of Akwa Ibom State Legal Aid Council, Samson Adula, affirmed to the court that through his portfolio, he will get another Lawyer to represent the two accused persons.

Justice Bassey Nkanang who is the trial Judge, therefore, obliged Mr. Frank Akpan, the second accused person to work together with Samson Odula in getting another lawyer for himself and his daughter.

The Judge trial has therefore postponed the murder case till 31st of January, 2022.

Responding to interview questions from newsmen, Samson Odula said, “Everybody has his own way of defence. I have my own way of putting up my defence, he (Ekongson) has his own way. And now he has withdrawn, let a neutral person come and continue from there.

“Remember we have taken about 8 Witnesses out of 12. So at this stage, it is not very comfortable for me since I didn’t start from the beginning, even though I have been present. My office by virtue of our Act, statutorily empowers us to assign such cases to Lawyers.

“There are some Lawyers that have approached us to assign criminal cases to them. We will contact a couple of them and anybody ready to handle this case, we will assign the person to come in and conclude the defence of the second and third accused persons”.