Posted by News Express | 7 October 2021 | 1,167 times
The Village Council Chairman in Usung Atiat community, Ukanafun local area of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Aniedu Okon, is alleged to have exhumed the corpse of a 61-year-old man.
Aniefiok Effiong is said to have failed to pay fine for allegedly poisoning another man’s wife when he was alive.
It was gathered that the village council of Usung Atiat community has a laid down rule of collecting edible items from a person found guilty of an offence which the deceased failed to pay before he died.
It was learnt that prior to the burial of the deceased, the village chairman had sent a letter to the bereaved family warning them of the consequences of failing to pay the fine before the dead was interred.
The items demanded include a goat, tubers of yam, a jar of palm wine, one crate of soft drinks, one carton of beer, one bottle of local gin, one bottle of Lords Dry gin, garden eggs, one bottle of snuff, alligator pepper and a bundle of firewood among others.
The letter warned against burying the deceased before paying the fine.
According to a witness, Mr Mfon Udo, the village expected the family to pay the penalty on behalf of the deceased for the offence he committed but they ignored the letter.
He said after the burial of Effiong, the village chairman stormed the compound of the deceased with local thugs firing gunshots into the air, and exhumed the corpse which they dumped along one of the village footpaths.
He explained that the action was an outright desecration of the dead which would require another set of rituals to rebury and appease the gods to avert calamity in the family and entire community.
Protesting the action of the village council chairman, a son of the deceased, Mr Uduak Bassey, has demanded that the village council re-bury his late father or face the law for desecrating the dead.
In a petition titled: “A Case of Desecration of Corpse and Unlawful Possession of Arms Perpetrated by the Village Chairman – Aniedu Okon Thompson and Four Others”, the bereaved son urged the state government to intervene and save the community from impending doom and health hazard occasioned by the decomposing corpse in the village.
Bassey emphasised that urgent steps should be taken to avoid an epidemic in the community while the culprits should be brought to book, adding that all the perpetrators of the crime have been identified, and were 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,” he said.
When the Police Public Relations Officer, Akwa Ibom State Command, SP Odiko Mcdon, was contacted, he said the command had not received the petition.
(Text excluding headline from Daily Trust)
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