… accused approached us with eight hundred and fifty thousand naira for settlement – Complainants

Anambra State Government has taken a mortuary attendant, one Mr. Ugochukwu Joseph Uchenna to court over missing corpse of a twenty-six-year-old female, Chinonso Okeke.

Mr. Uchenna is said to be the owner of New Centuary Medical Complex Mortuary Isuaniocha, Awka North Council Area, where he also works.

Complainants in the matter, Mrs. Rejoice Odogwu, sister to the deceased, and Mr. Sopuruchukwu Okeke, husband to the deceased, told the Anambra State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Ify Obinabo, that the late Chinonso’s body was deposited at New Centuary Medical Complex Mortuary Isuaniocha on the fourth of August, 2023, and when they were ready to bury their dead, they were given a different corpse.

Upon inquiry, they said Mr. Uchenna insisted that the corpse they were given was the one they brought, which according to them is not true.

They further alleged that the corpse handed over to them was that of an older woman, whereas theirs was a twenty-six-year-old female, and that the body deposited was on low cut before and after death, but the body given to them had her hair weaved, and has been operated upon, whereas theirs has never undergone any form of surgery, among other things.

Mr. Okeke notified the Commissioner that after they refused to take the corpse, Mr. Uchenna started threatening them.

When asked why they never visited the mortuary, Mrs. Odogwu said that her in-laws’ elder sister was denied access to the place because the mortuary attendant told her that they don’t give pregnant women access to the facility.

She also hinted that all the while the sister in-law was going to see the corpse, the mortician kept denying her access and asking of the date of the burial, which they didn’t take as anything, but rather trusted their services; only to get defrauded in October when they went to carry the remains of the late Chinonso.

The complainants further stated that Mr. Uchenna later approached them with the sum of eight hundred and fifty thousand naira for settlement after the matter has been reported to people.

After listening to the complainants and asking necessary questions, the Women Affairs Commissioner assured them of justice, and further handed the case over to the legal unit of the ministry.

It was gathered that the case has been filed and called up at Magistrate Court Achalla for hearing.

Credit: Chidinma Ikeanyionwu/ABS


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