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Burial Conflict Community demand payment from parents of drowned Uniport student

The parents of the deceased were asked to pay a sum of N115,000 as part of the conditions given for the burial of anyone who gets drowned in the community.

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Uniport Student play

Uniport Student

(Punch)

The parents of a student of the University of Port-Harcourt, Omoseebi John Temidayo, are at loggerheads after a community leader in Choba demanded that they pay N115, 000, before their son can be buried.

The father of the deceased refused to comply with the demand, stating that his Christian faith does not permit such.

According to Punch, Temidayo, who is a first-year student of the Faculty of Art and Humanity, died at the Choba River.

He was rendering menial services at a construction site in the area.

His dead body was found by a search group days after he was reported missing.

His father, Mr. Andrew Omoseebi, has made arrangement for the corpse to be transported to their hometown in Oke Oro Ijero Local Government Area, Ekiti State.

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Eze Raymond, who is the traditional ruler of Choba, gave an explanation of the dictates of the tradition when someone dies by drowning.

He said,  “The father of the late boy came to my palace alongside some other pastors to tell me that their son drowned in the Choba River.

“I told them that in our culture, the corpse would be buried by the riverside. I also told them instances of what happened to people who disobeyed. I told them to carry the corpse if they insisted on taking the corpse to their place for burial.

“We considered them so much and never wanted to give them strict conditions as the culture would demand. This is because it would have been bad for the corpse to decay into the river.

“The money they said we demanded was for the burial rite by the riverside. Those who will bury the decaying corpse are not slaves.

“They were meant to pay N150, 000, but I subsidized the money for them with my own money to ensure that the boy is buried and is not allowed to decay into the river.

“I did not hinder them from carrying the corpse for autopsy or going ahead with other investigations into the events that lead to the death of the boy.”

The bone of contention between the parents and the traditional ruler is that demanding money from grieving people is not appropriate.

According to the father, the community leader has not shown any concern for his plight.

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