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General News of Friday, 8 October 2021

Source: dailypost.ng

Villagers exhume corpse in Akwa Ibom over inability to pay fine

Akwa Ibom State Akwa Ibom State

The chairman of Usung Atiat village, Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Aniedu Thompson Okon, has allegedly exhumed the corpse of a 61-year-old Aniefiok Daniel Effiong 61 for the deceased failure to pay specified fine for an alleged offence committed while he was alive.

It was gathered that the village council had demanded some items from the deceased to appease his alleged crime before his death.

The items included she goat, tubers of yam, a jar of palm wine, 1 crate of soft drinks, one carton of beer, one bottle of local gin, a bottle of dry gin, garden egg, one bottle of snuff, alligator pepper and other condiments including a bundle of firewood to cook.

But the deceased failed to bring those items while he was alive.

However, prior to the burial date, the village chairman, it was learnt had sent a letter to the bereaved family warning them of the consequences for failing to provide above items before their father’s interment.

Part of the letter as circulating online read: “Failure to bring the items for committing an abnormal act, burial should not be conducted in the village.”

A source close to the family told DAILY POST that the family ignored the threat letter and continued with the funeral as the family did not understand the ‘abnormal act’ contained in the letter.

He added, “after the burial, the village chairman stormed the deceased compound with thugs, firing gunshots into the air and exhumed the corpse and dumped it along the village footpath to decompose.

“Such act was outright desecration of the dead which would require another round of rituals to rebury and appease the gods to avert calamity in the family and entire community,” the source said.

Also, the son of the deceased, Mr. Uduak Effiong Bassey has cried for justice, demanding the village council to rebury his father or face the law for desecrating the dead.

In a petition entitled: ” A case of Desecration of Corpse and unlawful possession of Arms Perpetrated by the village Chairman – Aniedu Okon Thompson and four others,” the deceased’s son urged the state government to intervene and save the community from impending doom and health hazard as the corpse was decomposing in the village.

The petition dated September 27, 2021 signed by the deceased’s son and made available to newsmen in Uyo on Thursday, stated that urgent steps should be taken to avoid epidemic in the community while the culprits should be brought to book.

Bassey explained that all the perpetrators of the crime could be identified as they are residents in the village.

“Akifa together with me were able to identify the above persons desecrating the remains of late Aniefiok Bassey, firing gunshots into the air and eventually dumped the corpse by a bush track and covered the grave.”

When contacted, the police Public Relations Officer in the State, SP Odiko Macdon, confirmed the incident and explained that the decomposing corpse has been recovered and deposited at the morgue.

Macdon, who said one of the suspects has been arrested, noted that the corpse was actually buried in a land in dispute before its exhumation and has nothing to do with inability to pay a fine.

His words, “The incident occurred in Usung Atiat village in OrukAnam LGA. Actually, the body was exhumed and the police have recovered the corpse and deposited same at the morgue. There was a land dispute concerning the bereaved and the other party said the deceased should not be buried in the disputed land . They went and exhumed the corpse after burial .

“Now, the matter is with the State CID in the state police as the commissioner of police has ordered a discreet investigation into the matter. One person has been arrested while others are at large . The police are trailing other suspects to ensure that they are brought to book,” the PPRO said.

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