The Akwa Ibom State High Court presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang has over-ruled the objection to the admissibility of Uduak Frank Akpan’s statement in which he allegedly confessed to a Department of State Services’ officer that he murdered Iniubong Umoren.
The first accused Uduak Frank Akpan and his father, Frank Akpan, and sister, Anwan Akpan, are standing trial for the murder of Iniubong Umoren, a Philosophy graduate from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Trial judge Nkanang, while ruling on the matter, admitted the statement in evidence, and marked it as an exhibit.
Recall that on the 15th of this month, when the confessional statement was sought to be tendered as an exhibit, Counsel to the accused person, Barr. Sampson Adula, raised an objection, alleging that the statement was not obtained voluntarily.
Following the objection, a trial within trial was conducted in consonance with the provisions of Section 29 of the Evidence Act, 2011.
In his evidence, the DSS Call Data Analyst, Ama Okeke told the Court that Uduak Frank Akpan made his confessional statement voluntarily in the DSS standard interview room for suspects.
And to buttress the fact, he tendered a video of the interview session as an exhibit.
Mr. Okeke told the court that after making the statement, the accused was asked to read over the statement himself, after which, he signed the statement, while the DSS operative counter-signed it.
Justice Bassey Nkanang in his ruling held that one significant piece of evidence that stood out was Uduak Frank Akpan’s categorical assertion that the statement was not his and he did not write it, meaning he had denied the entire statement.
The court held that a confessional statement does not become inadmissible, if and where the accused person that made it, denies ever making the statement or retracts the confession on oath.
Consequently, the court overruled the objection of the admissibility of the statement of the accused person made on the 10th of June, 2021 at the Department of State Services Office, Uyo.