Sacrilege: Abandoned corpse exposes Ikot Uduak community to health hazard

By Edem Edem Calabar

Corpses of the husband and wife, late Mr and Mrs Okon Effiom Ekpe-owo abandoned by the children over argument on the burial ground has caused health hazard to the Ikot Uduak community in Calabar Municipal local government area of Cross River State.

The corpses were brought out for burial on Saturday, November 8th 2019 but argument ensued over the burial ground as the Village Head of the community, Her Highness Efio-Awan Asuquo Asibong told DAILY NEWS in her palace on Thursday evening that the deceased are not indigene of the community hence cannot be buried in land.

She stated that the children of the deceased have abandoned the corpses for seven days in her compound and was posing health hazard as the offensive odour have started coming out exposing the inhabitants of her community to health hazard.

Her Highness Efio-Awan Asibong said that the deceased and their children were her tenants, explaining that they don’t have any documents to the land. “One of the deceased sons came to me and said he was looking for a place to bury his parents.

“I showed him a place in their family compound across the road to bury his mother and father and he agreed, but other family members rejected the place and he didn’t come back to tell me, instead they came with the people and insisted they must bury their parents and started digging the graves.

“I had earlier brought people to help dig the graves for them where I originally showed them, but when they started digging the grave in the place I showed them, (Not my compound), one Clement Ene, went and drove the boys digging the graves away and said he want to bury his parents in my land and I said no.

“Based on this, the family abandoned the corpses under canopies in my compound for over seven days now causing people to desert the compound given the offensive odour emanating from the corpses..

Speaking with our reporter, a man who claimed to be next to the Clan Head of Uduak Edem Clan, Oyoyo Etim Oyo Ita said that officials of Calabar Urban Development Authority (CUDA) came and saw the corpses and commenced legal action against the family members for abandoning the corpses of their parents in an open place.

He said judgement was entered against the children and one of the principal actors was sentence to a three months imprisonment or a fine of N40, 000 and since he did not have the money to pay, he was remanded in the prison at Afokang in Calabar.

He also said that the court ordered the remaining family members to evacuate the corpses within 24 hours and that 24 hours since expired. “Instead of them evacuating the corpses, the children brought in suspected cultists who inflicted mayhem in the community in which some people sustained injuries”

Consequently, another man who claimed to be a family head and gave his name as Orok Bassey Okon Umo lamented the incident noted that CUDA would come and evacuate the corpses to mortuary pending when the deceased family will come and take them for burial.

One of the deceased son, Bassey Okon Effiom told us on phone on Thursday “I wasn’t around but I was told about the incident that took place and that Village Head took Police to arrest my brother and other family members including my aunties, about three of them and two came back.

“She did all that because of the land. Yesterday, when the Paramount Ruler said we should come and dig the ground and bury our parents and as we were digging the ground, the Village Head boys came shot guns and drove people away.

“She asked the boys to cover the ground we have dug. She needed the compound and the land, we can’t fight her, however,  anyhow she want to do with the corpses let her go ahead and do it, she arranged with CUDA and we don’t have the muscle to fight her” he stated.

At the time of filling this report, the corpses were still outside where it was kept since Saturday at Ikot Uduak community along MCC Road by Timber Market in Calabar Municipal local government area of Cross River State.

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