A middle aged man, Saturday Akpan, who is now cooling his heels in the custody of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Ikot Akpan Abia, on suspicion of murdering his uncle, Pastor Okon Nnana, has confessed that he hired assassins to snuff life out of the pastor over a land dispute that has been ongoing between his immediate family and that of his uncle.
Akpan who hails from Ika local government area of the state, explained how he contracted the assassins to first kidnap his uncle and made a ransom demand of N250,000 but that he got only N100,000, and eventually torturing the old man to death and later burying him in a shallow grave in the Ikot Udo forest.
Akpan’s accomplice in the heinous crime, one Friday Akpan, noted that while he witnessed Nnnana’s torture and eventual killing, he did not partake in the act but swore an oath of secrecy.
He said that his younger brother, in whose house the victim was kept and tortured, died of a strange illness a week after the man was murdered.
The state Commissioner of Police, Gabriel Achong, told reporters that the son of the deceased reported the case of his missing father to the police, after a quarrel concerning a family land.
The police boss stated that it was the report that led the police to arrest the prime suspect alongside Friday Akpan, and they owned up to the crime during interrogation.
“Even the efforts made by the family to ensure amicable resolution of the matter by conveying a family peace meeting was snubbed by Saturday Akpan, prompting suspicion that he has a hand in the disappearance of the late Pastor Okon Nnana.
They led the police to Ikot Udo forest where they dug a shallow grave and dumped the body of their victim with his hands tied to his back.
The relations of the victim were invited while the body was exhumed and handed over to a pathologist for autopsy to enable police to begin prosecution of the matter.”