Newswire admits error, corrects story linking NGO to job-seeker’s death


An online newspaper, Newswire, has withdrawn its claim linking the Centre for Clinical Care and Clinical Research Nigeria (CCCRN), a non-governmental organisation, to the gruesome murder of a 26-year-old job seeker in Akwa-Ibom State, Iniubong Umoren.

Ms Umoren was raped and killed by Uduak Akpan, who invited her for a job interview at Oron, located in the outskirts of Uyo, the Akwa-Ibom State capital.

CCCR had denied any involvement in the murder case as alleged in the publication, demanding a retraction and an apology from the news organisation.

Retraction

However, in a report released on Monday, Newswire apologised for describing the organisation as a “Ghost NGO” and the allegations of engaging in organ trafficking.

“Correction: An earlier version of our story, titled: ‘Murder in Uyo: Who Killed Hiny Umoren?’ had incorrectly described the Center for Clinical Care and Clinical Research (CCCRN) as a ‘Ghost NGO’ and stated, that, Uduak Apkan, the self confessed killer of a job seeker, Iniobong Umoren met with one Kufre Effiong at the CCCRN premises.

“That version has since been disputed by the CCCRN and we have corrected the story to remove this assertion. Using GPS and cellular geolocation, the telco call records placed the address in question at 58, Unit G Ewet Housing Estate, which is the address of CCCR Nigeria’s Uyo Office.”

It further stated that the organisation was mentioned due to a mapping error.

“The Center, located in Akwa Ibom State, provides health, protection, education, nutrition and household economic strengthening services (among others) to more than 100,000 orphans and vulnerable children and their households – a statement issued by the organisation reads in parts.

“According to the statement of the CCCRN, the Center for Clinical Care and Clinical Research has been in operation since 2010/ “We therefore urge all members of the public to note that The Center for Clinical Care and Clinical Research (CCCRN) is a responsible non-profit organization and has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Effiong, organ trafficking, harvesting.

“Our story about the murder of Iniubong Umoren, whose alleged killer, Mr. Frank Uduak Ezekiel Akpan (Mr. Frank) has been arrested by the Police is to unmask persons behind the killing of the job seeker and not meant to discredit any group, individual or organisation,” the news organisation stated.

Checks by PREMIUM TIMES also showed that the story has been updated to reflect the newspaper’s retraction of the CCCRN parts.

Murder of job seeker

Mr Akpan, who, according to the police, confessed to being a serial rapist, said he had raped six women by playing the same tricks on them in the past.

TEXEM

The police said he will be charged to court when judiciary workers call off the nationwide strike, the police assured.

Amid public outcry for justice for the deceased, Newswire published a report detailing the telephone numbers of some persons Mr Akpan contacted before his arrest.

The report suggested some might have colluded to kill Ms Umoren while some others might have engaged in a cover-up scheme to free the suspect.

But the police officer, Samuel Ezeugo and a relation of the murder suspect, Kufre Effiong, whose telephone numbers featured in the report, said the calls were put across to facilitate Mr Akpan’s arrest.

As of the time of this reporting, PREMIUM TIMES could not access the conversation records of the suspect and those he spoke with and was, therefore, unable to determine the culpability or otherwise of the individuals.

Aside from individuals, the report mentioned two corporate entities, the CCCR and a hotel, Davok Suites, as major players in the conspiracy due to their addresses.

“The first is that the Uyo Branch office of an organisation (CCCR Nigeria), which specifically offers “supply chain management of health commodities”, may have been commandeered by an illegal organ trafficking ring to feed the booming global black market organ trade. At the lower end of the operation would be Frank Akpan who would specialise in rape and murder of defenceless women so as to harvest their organs for onward delivery to those in charge of the operation.

“The second possibility is more prosaic, but no less horrific. Due to the convoluted house numbering system in Uyo, the property labeled as 58, G Unit, Ewet Housing Estate is also. This would be the ideal location for a trusted associate of a politician – say, a senior civil servant – to lay his head while running a clandestine errand for his boss. An errand such as sourcing human parts for use in a ritual sacrifice ahead of the upcoming election season,” the reporter, David Hundeyin, had conjectured.

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