NewsWireNGR Exclusive) Murder: Who Killed Hiny Umoren?
Written by Emmanuel Okorie on May 12, 2021
On Friday April 29, a 26 year-old lady set out around 1PM to attend a job interview in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Having recently completed her university program despite losing both parents, she was looking for a way to support herself before being called up for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program.
Instead of a job interview and hope for the future however, what she would actually encounter on that day would become one of the most shocking stories to ever emerge from Nigeria.
https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1387793691251822599&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fnewswirengr.com%2F2021%2F05%2F11%2Fmurder-in-uyo-who-killed-hiny-umoren%2F&sessionId=8100d43369d7aa36232c425561ec547586aed600&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px Iniobong “Hiny” Umoren became the subject of a desperate nationwide search led by Nigerian Twitter users after her friend Umoh Uduak put out an urgent appeal. She was eventually found, but unfortunately the worst had already happened. The police would later confirm that she was found dead, having been raped, murdered and then buried in a shallow grave.
In the wake of a crowdsourced social media sleuthing campaign which uncovered his identity, a primary suspect Frank Uduak Ezekiel Akpan was also arrested.
In a manner completely uncharacteristic of Nigeria’s elephant-paced justice system, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command rapidly announced that it had extracted a confession from Akpan, and even identified his motive – he was a serial rapist and serial killer acting alone. End of story and job done.
Naturally, this neat explanation did not satisfy many, who felt that Akpan could not have acted alone, and that the police might be involved in some kind of a cover up to protect powerful people potentially implicated. Rumours also began swirling about Hiny’s family receiving death threats, and the suspect allegedly boasting about being well-connected.
Beyond the whispers however, there has been precious little to substantiate the idea that stringing up Frank Akpan alone would not represent any kind of justice for Hiny Umoren. Sources willing to speak up and provide information about this case have generally not been forthcoming.
Game Changing Information
Every telephone conversation made via a GSM telephone line has a permanent record with the mobile service provider, which by law cannot be tampered with or erased. The information captured can vary, but it always includes the following elements: the date and time the interaction was initiated; the type of interaction (voice or SMS); the length of the interaction; the number initiating the interaction; the number receiving the interaction and the location of the closest cell towers to both parties.
Some networks also record the actual conversation (voice note), and depending on the type of signal band and mobile device, it is even possible to capture the exact location of both parties, accurate to within a few metres. Anyone who can get their hands on the call data from Frank Akpan’s line would very quickly be able to establish whether he was in fact acting alone – which is where my source came in handy.
Understandably, this information is meant to be impossible to access without law enforcement authorisation. With this in mind, I have taken the extra precaution of reproducing it manually via a spreadsheet, so as to protect my source by removing all possible identifying information. Over the course of several hours last week, I pored over several days worth of leaked call data from Frank Akpan’s mobile provider to make sense of the situation.