Posted by By TAIWO AMODU on
Residents of Mbioto in Etinan Local |Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and the police authorities there are disturbed over the circumstances surrounding the murder of a spare-parts merchant, Christopher Ekpo Frank.
Residents of Mbioto in Etinan Local |Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and the police authorities there are disturbed over the circumstances surrounding the murder of a spare-parts merchant, Christopher Ekpo Frank. Sources at the state police headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, said they were stupefied when they discovered a severed head, hands and parts of the body of the deceased in a pit after his murder by a four-member armed robbery gang.
According to the elder brother of the deceased, Mr Ntiedo Thompson, a harmless call on January 24, 2005 from home had informed him that his brother, Christopher, had not been seen for two days.
"The caller wanted to confirm, whether he was with me in Lagos. I told them I’d not seen him". After that, the absence of the deceased from home was taken lightly since he often had cause to pass the night in his shop.
Three days later, Ntiendo got another call which actually jolted him. "I got another call informing me that a thief was caught in his shop, a night before. Christopher was nowhere within the precinct of his shop and had since not been seen".
In a confused state of mind, Ntiendo travelled home and along with some members of his extended family continued the frantic search for Christopher.
"A visit to the landlord of my brother confirmed what I had earlier been told. That my brother had not been seen for a couple of weeks and that they had been looking for him, checking all the joints he used to hang out".
A thief in the night
However, before Thompson left Lagos for his home town, someone had been caught in his late brother’s shop and had been handed over to the police at Efa Police Atation at Etinan.
Somebody had reportedly discovered on the said day that the deceased’s shop was open. Thinking that it was Christopher that has surfaced, he had moved nearer the main entrance, only to discover a stranger inside the shop.
"The person inside", the elderly Thompson told Saturday Sun, "knowing that the cat had been let out of the bag attempted to run. An alarm was raised, others alerted joined in pursuit of the strange face who was apprehended and taken to the Efa Police Station.
Spilling the beans
The suspect, Saturday Sun learnt, upon interrogation by the police claimed to be a member of a four -member armed robbery gang. He denied reportedly ever knowing Christopher or his whereabouts but could not give useful information to the police on how he came about the key to the deceased’s shop.
The police, still suspecting that the young man knew more than he let out, insisted that he should take them to their hideout. And it paid off.
An unusual stench from the suspect’s pit toilet reportedly caught the attention of the police interrogators. "They broke into the pit toilet, assisted by some sympathisers, only to discover a severed head and hands. They severed every part of his body", narrated the deceased’s brother. "He (the suspect) confessed that the severed parts were that of my brother, but that he was not alone in the killing".
Upon further interrogation, the suspect allegedly informed the police that he, along with three others (now at large) actually abducted Christopher, two weeks before they embarked on the looting of his shop.
"It was after they had killed him, they now, with the key to his shop in their possession, proceeded with the installmental looting of his shop. There is nothing left in the shop", the deceased’s brother submitted.
Police confirms arrest
The police at Ikot Akpanabia confirmed the story and informed Saturday Sun that the investigation into the gruesome murder of Christopher Ekpo Frank was still on.
One Inspector Ukpong, the officer who handled the case at Efa Police Station, confirmed to Saturday Sun on phone they were working on the case until a few weeks back. Now, he added, the matter had since been transferred to the Akwa Ibom State Criminal Investigation Department.
"You either speak with Assistant commissioner of police (whose name he didn’t give) or the state Police Public Relations Officer, who can volunteer whatever information you want. We have been relieved of the case file".