New investigations have revealed that Uduak Frank, the r*pist and killer of Akwa Ibom job seeker, Iniubong Umoren had criminal cases to answer for before the latest saga.
A report by The NEXT EDITION disclosed that the Akwa Ibom State Police Command has not only compromised the investigation into the assault, rape and murder of the job seeker, Umoren, but also disgracefully colluded with the criminal to conceal many parts of the crime.
Right from when the elder sister of the deceased, Ifiok, reported that Umoren, who had gone for a job interview along the Airport Road, Uyo, was in distress, the police did not take quick action to save her.
The report was made at the Itam Divisional Police station on April 29, less than 25 minutes after Umoren made a distress call to her friend.
Rather than rush to where she was heard yelling, “Jesus ooo. Jesus ooo,” in a highly disturbing call to her friend, the police simply asked the distressed sister to go home and wait.
Based on reports, the police said they could not do anything because it was not up to 24 hours after Umoren went missing.
It was, however, not true that she was missing. In fact, Ifiok, the elder sister and a bosom friend in Lagos, Uduak Umo, knew who invited Umoren for a job interview and the rough idea of the address of the interview.
It is also true that the operatives at the Itam Police Station were told where the late Umoren had gone for an interview and who the supposed interviewer was, but they declined an offer to help the victim.
Further investigations showed the police only moved into action about 24 hours after the information they refused to act upon was shared and it was trending on social media.
Many believe that Umoren could have been rescued alive if the police had swung into action and raided the fake interview compound immediately a report was made.
Besides failing to act promptly to save the life of the late Umoren, the report also shows that the command has dished out many lies to cover up the activities of what appears to be a dangerous murder ring in Uyo.
During weeks of enquiries, it was found that the self-confessed rapist and murderer, Uduak Frank, was not working alone contrary to claims by the state Police Commissioner, Andrew Amiengheme.
Mr. Amiengheme had said on a live interview programme on Arise News and while addressing reporters in Uyo that the police had not found any accomplice to the crime.
But the investigation by The NEXT EDITION showed that it was Emem Emmanuel, who first reached out to the late Miss Umoren and offered to help her get a job, a fact the police are aware of.
The deceased, who made best grades in the Department of Philosophy, University of Uyo, had made a post on social media requesting for a job while waiting to be called up for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme.
Not long after she made the post, Emmanuel reached out to her through the social media platform, Twitter.
After asking whether the late Umoren was still available for a job and she responded in the affirmative, he offered to link her with his boss whom he claimed was looking for a secretary.
A top security source revealed to The NEXT EDITION that Emmanuel is suspected to be a front for a deadly murder gang in Uyo.
Investigation by the newspaper has also shown that it was Emmanuel who sent Akpan’s phone number to Umoren.
The alleged accomplice, Emmanuel, is the son of a prominent pastor of The Apostolic Church in Akwa Ibom State.
For reasons best known to Amiengheme, the name of Emmanuel, a key suspect and member of the fake recruitment ring who personally lured Umoren to her death, has not been referenced at any event.
This happens even as the suspect has been held in custody for weeks alongside Uduak Akpan and his father at the state headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia.
Both the fathers of Akpan and the suspected accomplice were arrested on April 30 hours before the culprit turned himself in following assurances that he would not be hurt by the police.
This shows that the three persons were arrested on April 30 but at different times.
Curiously, neither Amiengheme nor the Police Public Relations Officer, Idiko MacDon, has said anything about Emmanuel and why he has been held in custody during their various encounters with journalists.
For instance, MacDon did not say anything about an accomplice in a statement he issued on the arrest of Uduak Akpan on May 1.
Mr. Emmanuel was not paraded on May 14, when Uduak Akpan and his father were paraded.
But the newspaper noted that Emmanuel has been in police custody from April 30 and the Akwa Ibom State Police command can only deny it to its corporate shame.
Not long after the search for her went viral on social media, Emmanuel quickly deleted his conversation with late Umoren. He also brought down both his Facebook and Twitter accounts when social media users started attacking him for his role in the jobseeker’s travails.
Unable to take the hit, Emmanuel used his shadow Facebook account to make a post denying ever contacting or having a conversation with his victim, the late Umoren.
His surrogate boss, Uduak Akpan, also disabled his Facebook and Twitter accounts but later used one of his shadow accounts to admit he contacted the late Miss Umoren.
He, however, dropped the number of the job seeker whom he had raped and murdered at the time, insisting that she never made it to his location.
Both accomplices disappeared into thin air shortly after making their respective posts while the search for the late Miss Umoren on social media became the top trending topic.
The circumstances that led to the arrest of Uduak Akpan have been a subject of controversy.
There are contradictory accounts by Uduak Akpan’s father, his cousin, Kufre Effiong, the police and the chairman of Uruan Local Government Area, Iniobong Ekpenyong.
In any case, on Friday, May 21, it was discovered that Pastor Emmanuel, a politically-exposed minister of The Apostolic Church, Uyo Field, went to the police headquarters to take his child, Emem, on bail.
He was said to have obtained a note from the office of the Akwa Ibom State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) authorising the release of the suspect.
The move was, however, halted when concerned Nigerians drew the attention of Miss Umoren’s family members and they rallied people to the state police headquarters to stop the move.
Mr Amiengheme, while speaking with journalists on May 14, maintained that there were no shallow graves in the compound where Umoren was murdered, but an investigation by The NEXT EDITION has shown otherwise.
In fact, multiple sources and locals who spoke with one of the newspaper's correspondents who visited the crime scene confirmed that indeed, many more corpses were exhumed in the compound by persons suspected to be police officers.
A resident of the community who took the correspondent around the crime scene said a few days after the police came to exhume Miss Umoren’s body, another set of persons who behaved like security operatives stormed the compound and exhumed seven more corpses.
“After the corpses were exhumed, the whole of this neighbourhood was oozing with this strong putrid odour and it was difficult to pass here,” a local youth who would not give his name because of safety concerns said.
The youth who spoke Ibibio continued, “He had buried so many people in this compound. Do you see this place, there was a corpse here. In that place you see there, there was a corpse. It seemed he cut people into pieces and buried them in a sack.
“Many of the trees he planted here were spots he buried people and if they dig around the compound, many corpses will be found. All these spots you see are places where they exhumed decayed corpses. You can perceive the stench wherever you find a hole here.
“There are places we found human bones and they were so many of them. Look at this human bone here. People came in here and picked some of the bones and dried human flesh.
“These bags you find all over the place are what he used in burying people. He cut the parts he needed and dumped the remaining body parts in the bags and buried them."
A woman from the neighbourhood said early in the year, a lady climbed the fence of the compound and ran naked to their home at midnight.
“One night, a lady scaled the fence and ran naked into our compound and we hid her till the next day. We gave her clothes to wear and she went away,” the lady told our correspondent.
“So many things have happened in that compound and a lot of corpses were removed from there by people who looked like policemen.”