Outrage In A’Ibom As Monarch Exhumes Corpse Over Alleged Unpaid Fine

Outrage In A’Ibom As Monarch Exhumes Corpse Over Alleged Unpaid Fine


Fear has enveloped Usung Atiat, an agrarian community in Ukanafun Local Area of Akwa Ibom state following the desecration and sacrilege against the remains of one Aniefiok Daniel Effiong, on the orders of the village council Chairman, Chief Aniedu Thompson Okon, who alleged that the deceased failed to pay the fine imposed on him for the offense he committed while alive.

 It was gathered, the late Effiong, 61, allegedly committed a crime against the community before his death, forcing the traditional authorities of the village led by Chief Okon, to invoke sanctions which include payment of some items to the community, but failed to pay before his death.

The items, it was learnt, include one she goat, one face of yam, a jar of palm wine, one crate of soft drinks, one carton of beer, one bottle of kaikai (local gin), one bottle of Lords Dry gin, garden eggs, one bottle of snuff, alligator pepper and other condiments including a bundle of firewood to cook the meal.

According to a local resident and member of the village youth group, Akan inyang, “prior to the burial date, the village chairman had sent a letter to the bereaved family warning them of consequences for failing to provide above items before interment”.. 

Another resident, Mr Mfon Udo Udo explained that the items needed by the village was a penalty against the deceased for an alleged offense he committed in the community when he was alive .

The letter reads in parts: “Failure to bring the items for committing an abnormal act, the burial should  not be conducted in the village”.

But the family was said to have ignored the threat letter and continued with the funeral as the family did not understand the  ‘abnormal act’ as contained in the letter.

He recalled that “After the burial,the village chairman stormed the deceased compound with local thugs firing gunshots into the air and exhumed the corpse dumped it along the village footpath where it decomposed .with foul smell all over the place”.

He lamented that “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” . 

Lamenting the ill treatment of his father, Mr Uduak Effiong Bassey, has cried out for justice, demanding the village council to 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” , Uduak urged the state government to intervened and save the community from impending doom and health hazard as the corpse had already decomposed in the village . 

The petition dated 27th September 2021 signed by 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

He recalled that those who perpetrated the act on behalf of the village monarch, according to him, could be identified:

“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 stressed.

It was learnt that the petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police (CP) Amiengheme Andrew, at Ikot Akpanabia headquarters, was lodged first at the Divisional Police State at Ikot Udo Obobo, for onward transmission to the headquarters.

However, when contacted on phone, the Plice Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Odiko Mcdon, said the command was yet to receive the petition and so, could not act on the matter. 

“The Command has not received any petition or official report on the incident, but once we receive such complain, we would act accordingly”, he said 

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