The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch has been inundated with several telephone calls and reports on the alleged kidnap, assault, rape and murder of a job-seeker in Akwa Ibom State, Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren.

Information available to CLO indicates that the deceased was a graduate of the Department of Philosophy, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, who was yet to be mobilised for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). She was 26 years of age and hailed from Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

According to a Press Release by the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, signed by its Public Relations Officer, the Police received report on the disappearance of the deceased on 30th April, 2021.

The Police stated that the suspect, Uduak Frank Akpan, has been arrested and has confessed to have lured the deceased to his house in the guise of giving her a job but ended up sexually and physically assaulting her and causing her death.

According to the Police, the suspect dragged and buried the deceased in a shallow grave in his father’s compound. The deceased’s remains have been exhumed and deposited at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Uyo, Akwa Ibom State for autopsy.

CLO is saddened by the dastardly act and calls on the Police to ensure thorough investigation and timely prosecution of the suspect and his accomplices, no matter how highly placed in the society.

As an international human rights organisation, CLO will monitor closely the investigation and prosecution of the case in the interest of the deceased, her family, and the society. CLO is committed to ensuring that justice is not only served but seen to have been served.

Furthermore, CLO views the appalling incident as an indictment on the Government of Akwa Ibom State in the area of job creation for the teeming unemployed youth of Akwa Ibom State in the face of high cost of living.

CLO is alarmed that the grotesque incident points again to moral decadence and erosion of social values even in the face of the proliferation of religious houses in Akwa Ibom, some built by the State government with public funds.

CLO calls on Governor Udom Emmanuel to prioritise the provision of employment opportunities and embark on projects aimed at the sustainable economic empowerment of the people of Akwa Ibom State in the remaining years of his administration.

CLO urges parents and guardians to pay close attention to their children and wards and to nurture them with love and empathy.

CLO calls on religious leaders to emphasise moral rectitude and de-emphasise material prosperity in their teachings.

CLO foresees delay in the prosecution of the suspect and his accomplices should Governor Udom Emmanuel fail to address the lingering strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), which has completely crippled the administration of justice in Akwa Ibom State.

CLO urges Governor Udom Emmanuel to placate JUSUN and end the strike by implementing, without delay, section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), which grants financial autonomy to the Judiciary of the States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including the Akwa Ibom State Judiciary.

CLO mourns the loss of yet another illustrious, educated Akwa Ibom youth with wealth of untapped potentials.

CLO prays for the repose of the soul of Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren and for her family the fortitude to bear her loss.

Otuekong Franklyn Isong

Comrade (Barr.) Christopher Ekpo
State Secretary

Dated; 4th May, 2021


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