SSS Takes Over Investigation Into Rape, Killing Of Iniubong Umoren

Nigeria’s secret police, the SSS, appears to have
taken over investigation into the case of the Akwa
Ibom woman who was raped and killed in April by a
20-year-old man, Uduak Akpan, who had lured her
with a fake job offer.

The victim, Iniubong Umoren, 26, was buried in a
shallow grave inside the suspect’s family house
where she was brutally killed
, in the outskirts of
Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.

The crime attracted nationwide outrage. Nigerians
have been putting pressure on the police to bring her
killers to justice.

A former attorney general of Akwa Ibom State,
Uwemedimo Nwoko, told PREMIUM TIMES last week
that the SSS has taken over the investigation from
the police.

Mr Nwoko, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is holding
brief in the case for a socio-cultural group, Ati
Annang, which promotes and protects the interest of
the Annang, one of the ethnic nationalities in Akwa
Ibom.

The late Miss Umoren was an Annang woman. She
was an orphan.

She had just graduated from the Department of
Philosophy, University of Uyo, and was hoping she
could get a temporary job, make some decent money
for herself ahead of the mandatory National Youth
Service Corps.

And then her dream was suddenly cut short in the
most brutal manner.

“Our steps so far have actually led to the matter
being further investigated because we (Ati Annang)
were not satisfied with the level of investigations
that the police carried out, hence we demanded that
the matter should be further investigated with all
loose ends tight.

“The transfer of the suspect to the DSS is not a
secretive thing, it is a public matter. They have taken
custody of the suspect,” Mr Nwoko said.

What Mr Nwoko said about the SSS taking over the
investigation was corroborated by an official of the
Nigeria Correction Service in Uyo who informed
PREMIUM TIMES, Friday, that the SSS about a week
ago had taken the suspect, Mr Akpan, out from the
Ikot Ekpene Correction Centre, along with two other
suspects in the case.

The SSS, apparently conducting their own
investigation into Miss Umoren’s killing, took the
three suspects away for some days, the correctional
officer said on Friday.

“They (the SSS) have just brought them (the
suspects) back (to the correction centre) this
evening,” he added.

Apart from Mr Akpan who has confessed to the rape
and killing of Miss Umoren, another suspect in the
case is his father. The other suspect is Emem
Emmanuel who is believed to have been part of the
plot to lure the victim with the fake job offer.

Police reaction

The police spokesperson in Akwa Ibom, Odiko
MacDon told this newspaper that the suspects were
remanded in the correction centre, but he, however,
denied that the case has been taken over by the SSS.

The spokesperson for the SSS in Abuja, Peter
Afunanya, did not respond to calls and a text
message seeking comment from him.

A lawyer in Uyo who did not want his name
mentioned in the report said the SSS can wade into a
case that is being investigated by the police if such a
case is believed to have the potential to affect “state
security”.

If a suspect in a criminal investigation is taken into
custody by the SSS, the SSS would eventually have to
return them to the police, the lawyer said.

Mr Nwoko, the lawyer who is
holding brief for Ati Annang, told
PREMIUM TIMES that it is the
office of the attorney general of Akwa Ibom State
that would prosecute the case, and not the police.

“It is not a matter that the police can prosecute, that
is why the case file was transferred to the
Department of Public Prosecution (DPP). It is the
attorney general’s office that is handling the case.

“Both the investigative reports of the police and that
of the DSS will be put together in the same file and
forwarded to the DPP for prosecution.

“None of the agencies can handle it. It is a murder
case, it is the office of the attorney general that is
handling the matter directly,” Mr Nwoko said.

The lawyer vowed that Ati Annang would ensure
justice for late Miss Iniubong.

“I give you assurance that on our part, the Ati
Annang Foundation which I represent is not going to
leave any stone unturned in ensuring that justice is
obtained for late Miss Umoren and indeed the
society.

“Miss Umoren is only one victim, the society is the
biggest loser when we have characters like this
parading the state,” he said.



Categories: Crime

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