By Emman Ovuakporie
The House of Representatives on Tuesday mandated the acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to immediately take over the investigation of the kidnapping, sexual, physical assault and killing of Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren, and ensure justice is delivered.
Also, family of the deceased demanded for justice when the state officers visited her family.
The House, condemned the act of sexual assault and gruesome murder of late Miss Umoren, described the act as barbaric, inhuman and despicable.
While in plenary the House also mandated the IGP to ensure the protection of her family members from harassment, intimidation and harm.
It further mandated its standing Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development to follow up with the investigation and prosecution, and ensure compliance — just as it expects it to report back for further legislative actions.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance, sponsored by Hon. Unyime Idem.
Moving the motion, Idem recalled that on April 30, 2021, the Anti-kidnapping squad of the Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigeria Police Force received a criminal report on the disappearance of Miss Iniubong Ephraim Umoren who left her house on the fateful day in search of employment.
He noted that the late Umoren was a graduate of the University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, who was without employment since her graduation from the University.
“Available information has it that she received a phone call from the assailant who pretentiously called her and invited her to a false interview of an advertised job.
“The innocent Miss Umoren was later found dead by the police after an official report and with the help of a wide reportage of her disappearance and information of the false interview on social media platforms, and her body was further exhumed where it was buried in a shallow grave by her assailant”, he said.
He expressed concern that the family members of the deceased have reportedly raised an alarm of receiving strange phone calls and threats of various degrees and have been asked to withdraw the case.
”It has been reported that the assailant upon his arrest by the police and subsequent voluntary confession boasted that he is well connected and will be released from the Police custody scot-free in a matter of days. The Nigeria Police Force has been reporting a surging high record in rape and gender violation across the country.
“Unfortunately, a very scary number of cases have been reported daily with thousands unreported. These acts are gross violation of human rights to dignity, life and sexuality,” he added.
Idem however advised that the public outrage on account of rape and other violent crimes against women and the girl child should not go unpunished as a deterrent for the perpetrators and others nursing the thought to forestall future occurrence.
Adopting the motion, the lawmakers observed a minute silence in honour of the deceased and other victims of this nefarious act.