Two police officers were today arraigned by the Akwa Ibom government along with five accomplices accused of being the masterminds of the spate of killings that have bedeviled the state in the last two years.
The suspects included Saturday Okorie and Friday Udoh, both corporals, who were dragged before Justice Eno Isangedighi of High Court 9 in Uyo, the state capital, along with Walter Udo, Udo Etim, Etido Nyong, Edem Okon, Udo Akpaetuk and Umoh Ukpong.
Details of the offence contained in the charge sheet showed that the seven accused persons are to face a four-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping, punishable under section 556(1)(f) of the Criminal Code, CAP.38, Vol.2, laws of Akwa Ibom State, 2000 and section 1(2) of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement law, 2009.
The accused persons were alleged to have masterminded the kidnapping of one Mohammed Umaru, also known as Umaru Barkindo at Mbikpong village in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of the state on November 25 last year.
They were also alleged to have been the brains behind the kidnap of one Ini Enang on August 1 last year at No 7, Medical Avenue, Afaha Ube Itam, in Uyo.
At the resumption of the trial, counsel to the accused persons, Ekere Ebong, argued that he was yet to be be served with the briefs of the matter by the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Iniobong George.
Consequently, the presiding judge in her short ruling ordered the DPP to follow normal procedures and ensure that all parties in the matter are served with the relevant briefs before the close of work today.
She although ruled that the trial be adjourned till Monday next week for continuation on a daily basis. Mrs Isangidighi directed that all the accused persons, who were brought from police detention be remanded in prison custody.
Another set of suspects said to have participated in the gruesome murder of Paul Inyang, a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and South-South leader, two years ago in the run up to the re-election bid of Governor Godswill Akpabio were arraigned just before the alleged kidnappers trial began.
It was a Black Maria that brought the accused persons to the court premises. onlookers got excited and waited in enthusiasm to see the faces of the accused persons. They were therefore greatly disappointed when the Black maria that brought the accused persons, left after only a few minutes without presenting to them the accused persons.
The court will resume trial of the suspected kidnappers on Monday