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Armed Robbery: Man, 48, To Die By Hanging

... Kinsmen Celebrate Court Judgement

Following a series of armed robbery incidents, justice has been served in Idung Ntuk Umah, Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The community can now breathe a sigh of relief as the suspected leader of the “Iceland cult group,” responsible for terrorising the area, has been sentenced to death by hanging.

The 48-year-old Udobong Stephen Adiahaunwa, a father of two and brother to the late Village Head of Idung Ntuk Umah, Chief Stephen Gabriel Adiahaunwa, was condemned by the Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo.

The Court, presided over by Justice Gabriel Ette, was delivering a judgement on a four-count charge of conspiracy, armed robbery and terrorism levelled against the convict by the state, a case that started in the High Court, Oruk Anam and was later transferred to the Uyo Judicial Division.

The particulars of the case show that Udobong Stephen Adiahaunwa, who was earlier banned from his village because of his atrocities, stormed the community on December 29, 2009, with his gang disguised as SARS Police operatives and whisked away one Friday Jackson Joe in a Hilux vehicle to an unknown location, which has not been found till today.

Again, on February 28, 2019, Udobong, a primary five dropout, was said to have brought cultists in police uniforms to his community and robbed the Treasurer of the Village, Mr. Ediomo Sunday Udoidio, of N970,000, being the proceeds from the sales of the community palm fruits.

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As if that was not enough, on April 29, 2021, he again imported cultists in Army uniform and robbed the village palm estate treasurer, Mr. Ubong William Henry, of N850,000, the money the Idung Ntuk Umah realised from sales of palm fruits.

It is also on record that on June 5, 2020, the convicted armed robber returned to his village with members of his secret cult and forcefully initiated teenagers into the group, forcing many to flee from the village while others continued to live in fear.

Udobong was arrested and detained at Akwa Ibom State Police Command’s Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, but was released, prompting the community to petition the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 6 Headquarters, Calabar.

In June 2020, the convict was arrested by operatives of Zone 6 Headquarters’ Zonal Criminal Investigation Department. He was later granted bail, and he disappeared with his surety.

While in his hideouts, he sued the complainant and the police for breaching his fundamental rights and was rearrested on December 4, 2020, and charged to court.

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In a one-hour judgement, the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Ette, found Udobong Stephen Adiahaunwa guilty of conspiring with his gang members, now at large and robbing his victims and sentenced him to death by hanging.

“From the totality of my findings, I find as a fact that the prosecution has proved counts 1, 2 and 3 against the defendant beyond reasonable doubt. I find the defendant guilty and convict him accordingly.

“COUNT 1: The sentence of this Court upon you, Udobong Stephen Adiahaunwa, in Count 1 of the charge is seven years imprisonment.

“COUNT 2: The sentence of this Court upon you is that you be hanged upon your neck until you are dead, and may the Lord have mercy upon your soul.

“COUNT 3: The sentence of this Court upon you is that you be hanged upon your neck until you are dead, and may the Lord have mercy upon your soul.” Justice Gabriel Ette held.

The judgement day attracted the complainants and other indigenes of Idung Ntuk Umah, who filled the courtroom to the brim, forcing the authorities to lock the entrance to the court premises, which is a stone’s throw from the government house.

The Idung Ntuk Umah community celebrated the condemnation of a man they described as “a terror and a nightmare to his community” and applauded Justice Gabriel Ette for his erudite judgement in restoring the confidence of the people in the judiciary.

@Harrison Essien


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