Umoren’s murder case stalls due to defence counsel’s withdrawal

The ongoing trial of Uduak-Abasi Akpan, his father, and sister in the murder of job seeker, late Iniubong Umoren was stalled yesterday, following the withdrawal of Counsel to the second and third accused persons from the case. The second and third accused persons, Mr. Frank Akpan and his daughter, Bassey Anwan Akpan, are standing trial at Akwa Ibom State High Court, sitting in Uyo, on twocount of accessory after the fact of murder and harbouring of the first accused person in order to escape punishment respectively.

The lead Counsel Emma Ekongson, notified the Court of the termination of their representation of both of his clients on Friday in a letter addressed to the Clerk of the Court. In the letter which was read before the Court by the Clerk, Ekongson noted that the decision to terminate their representation followed the failure of the family of his clients to pay his fees. During the court proceeding, Counsel to the first accused person, and Coordinator, Akwa Ibom State Legal Aid Council, Samson Adula, assured the court that through his office, he would contact another Lawyer to represent the two accused persons.

The trial Judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang therefore urged Mr. Frank Akpan, second accused person to liaise with Samson Adula to connect him and his daughter to another Lawyer. Nkanang adjourned the murder case till January 31, following an appeal by Samson Adula that he would not be within the jurisdiction of the Court on the February 4, when the Court had initially fixed as next adjourned date for continuation of hearing. However, responding to questions from Journalists on why he did not take over the defence of second and third accused persons, Adula explained that he could not have done so since he was not the one that handled it from the beginning.




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