Homicide detectives from the Akwa Ibom State police headquarters have searched the House of Etteidung Gabriel Mbeke, the Village Head of Iba Oku in Uyo, as part of their investigation into the death of a middle-aged man in the village.
Etteidung Mbeke and another suspect, Ubong Joe, are being held on suspicion of the murder of Idongesit Asuquo Isikong, who had not been seen since 2016 after he was said to have been abducted and beaten to death by 10 young men ordered by Mbeke.
The policemen who were out to, among other things, find out whether or not Etteidung Mbeke owned a prison cell where he caged the deceased in his house, as alleged by his mother, Regina Isikong, first escorted the accused village head to his residence on Sunday evening at about 7.15 pm.
Before police arrived, residents numbering more than 90 had already gathered outside Mbeke’s house ostensibly to catch a glimpse of him as he was to be paraded to his compound.
Some of the youths – both men and women- who gathered around Mbeke’s house were seen waving leaves, and were heard saying that they would lodge a peaceful protest to notify the police that they were fed up with the protracted notoriety of Etteidung Mbeke.
But on seeing the crowd and possibly suspecting a mob action, the case Investigating Police Officer (IPO), whose name could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report, made a U-turn and left Iba-Oku almost immediately with the suspect.
At exactly 6.05 am on Monday morning, the IPO returned with Etteidung Mbeke and conducted a quick search of his house, with his (Mbeke’s) “wife” leading the way, and with Regina Isikong, the deceased mother, together with Abraham Isikong, the brother, in attendance.
As soon as the police team left after their about 35 to 40 minutes search, before the villagers woke up to the incident, Abraham Isikong told Propeller Newspaper that he was asked to show the location where he and his mother had said was the prison cell the late Idongesit Isikong was detained before his mysterious disappearance.
Although Abraham admitted that Mbeke had renovated his house and that it was different from the way it was seen in 2016, he said he was able to identify the location of the cell, adding that he was not asked further questions.
The 10 people Mrs Isikong mentioned in her petition dated September 13, 2018 forwarded to the police on the abduction, inhuman treatment and murder of Idongesit Isikong are: Akan Etim Ekpo, Ime Raymond, Idongesit Raymond, Ubong Joe, Uwem, Owoidoho Jerome Etim, Idong Asuquo, Solomon Moses Effiong, Enyenete Mkanghansa, and Domingo Mbeke, the accused village head’s younger brother.
While nine of them are still at large, Propeller Newspaper reported on Sunday that the tenth suspect, Ubong Joe, was arrested on Wednesday, last week, two days after Mbeke was picked up.
Ubong was said to have been fast asleep when the police, acting on a tip off, entered his house and seized him. Late in the evening before Ubong was caught, the gallant police officers had combed the houses of the other nine suspects without success.
At the police station, Ubong was said to have corroborated Mrs Isikong’s statement about Mbeke’s mini prison cell and had confessed to the police that he and his gangs dumped Idongesit Isikong’s body along Uyo village road on the orders of Etteidung Mbeke after he had been beaten to coma.
It was gathered also that Ubong’s statement was that which further implicated Etteidung Mbeke and which ultimately led to the police search at his residence on Monday morning.
It was also gathered on Monday that Etteidung Mbeke may be charged to court on the matter any moment from now.
Family members of the late Idongesit Isikong, including his wife and three children, said they had been “devastated” by his death.
Source; Propeller Newspapers