Wednesday, 13 November 2019

OMG: Village Head stops burial, two corpses left outside for 5 days in Calabar

The corpses still laying in state after five days 

...If they bury them ,they will be exhumed ...Village Head threatens 

...We are afraid because its now five days ...Residents

CALABAR -There was pandemonium at Ikot Uduak community, in Calabar Municipality  as resident raised  alarm over the refusal of the village head of the community to allow the interment of two dead members of the community over ownership of land.

It was gathered that a lot people in the area have become apprehensive because of the sight of the corpses. A lot of the  residence have left the area out of fear of the dead and the stench of the corpses that has been there since Friday afternoon. 

Trouble started on Friday 8th, when the children of the deceased brought their parents corpses (their father and mother) from the morgue to be buried but the village head stopped the burial ceremony and the corpses have remained outside since then.

Investigations shows that the deceased died in 2018 but because of lack of funds for their burial they had  remained in the mortuary till their children and other family members were able to put resources together and brought them to be buried but were stopped by the Village Head who told them to go and bury their dead elsewhere.

Speaking with this reporter, Son of the deceased, Mr Bassey Okon Edet said he doesn't understand what was going on because the corpses of his parents have been in the open for five days because they were to be buried on Saturday the 9th but the village Head, Efio-Awan Asibong stopped them mid way while digging the graves.

His words : "That is my Father and Mother's corpses,  the compound is where my grandfather bought and later transferred to my father, Ekpe Okon Effiom. We have the agreement and tittle  documents of the land. The Village Head, Efio-Awan Asibong, who lives close to our compound wanted to sell our land  and she is doing everything possible to stop us from burying my parents.

"When my father was alive, she didn't make any attempt to eject my father. My father lived there and gave birth to 11 children (10 male and one female) and we'd lived here for many years and also given birth to children. Immediately my father died Asibong said she wants to take over the compound.

"We wanted to bury my parents, the woman (Asibong) said we shouldn't bury them, stating that we are not from here. She insisted that we can't bury our parents because they are not from here. She said her mother gave my father the land for free, but its a lie because we have  document that proves my father owns the place. The land document was  signed in 1954.

"Even if she wants to take over the compound, she should've at least had sympathy on us and our children by dividing the compound into two and not for her to say she'll push us out and use a bulldozer to bring down all the structures that we've erected. Up till now my parents corpses are still lying in state inside the compound for five days now, we need help from well meaning Cross Riverians, Police to intervene. When they were digging the grave, she jumped inside the grave," he lamented.

When contacted, the Village of Ikot Uduak Community, HH Efio-Awan Asuquo Asibong said she will not allow the children of the deceased to bury them because they were mere tenants and not the owners of the land where they wanted to bury their dead parents.

She informed that when they started the burial arrangement six months ago she was approached by one of the deceased children and she showed them where to bury them because they were just  tenants and don't have any right to bury them in her compound. 

She said :" One of the deceased sons came to me and I showed him a place (their family compound across the road) to bury his mother and father and he agreed, but his family rejected it and he didn't come back to tell me, instead they came with the Police, shooting everywhere and insisting they must bury their parents as they started digging their graves.

"They are my tenants, I gave them a letter over 6 months ago to go to Calabar Municipality Council to show that we have agreed to bury someone here. After they collected the N60,000 they gave to me, they agreed to carry the corpses to bury elsewhere, but they tuned around and left them there - since Saturday. I told them to go and bury them at Goldie cemetery. 

"They don't have any documents concerning this land. If they agree that they bought the land, then ask them to show you the agreement and the person that signed it. There's an agreement between us and everyone we give land here to, but where is theirs, If they bury their father and mother by force, they would have be to exhumed. And we would've gone to the court," she said.