Home Metro Land dispute: Youths on rampage over exhumed bodies in Imo •Houses razed

Land dispute: Youths on rampage over exhumed bodies in Imo •Houses razed


By Chris Njoku

OWERRI – It started 10 years ago with a dispute over six plots of land. Now two caskets buried in the disputed land have been exhumed and angry youths rampage through the community, causing a lot of damage.

It happened on Tuesday in Isiozi-Akah community in Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State.

Some youths in the community staged a violent protest when they saw two caskets displayed by the Nkwo Ikpa Market Square. The caskets bore the bodies of Mrs. Monica Anopueme and her daughter-in-law Maggie Anopueme initially buried in the disputed land. The youths were angry that the caskets were exhumed overnight and displayed publicly.

The youths ran riot, setting ablaze houses belonging to persons suspected to be behind the exhumation.

The Nation learned that two families, Anopueme and Nnanyereugo, had for 10 years been in dispute over six plots of land in the community.

It was gathered that the Nnanyereugo family had obtained an alleged kangaroo judgment in their favour over the disputed land which Anopueme family claimed belonged to their grandfathers.

When the family of Anopueme attempted to bury the late Monica Anopueme and Maggie who died four and three years ago respectively, on the disputed land, the move was resisted by Nnanyereugo family who claimed that they had a court judgment in their favour over the disputed land.

This claim was said to have stalled the burial of the late Mrs. Anopueme and her daughter-in-law Maggie who were kept in the mortuary for four years.

It was gathered that some persons in the community who were displeased with Nnanyereugo family’s claim, filed an appeal at the Customary Court of Appeal in Owerri, the state capital.  On June 25, 2019, the appeal court reportedly gave the appellants permission “to bury on the land in dispute their late mother, Mrs. Monica Anopueme and wife, Mrs. Margaret Anopueme who died since 29/2/2016 and 1/8/2017 respectively pending the hearing of this appeal and conclusion of the case.”

It was gathered that the Anopueme family decided to bury the deceased on September 4, 2019, after obtaining the court judgment but they were shocked to discover that three weeks after they had buried the corpses, the deceased were allegedly exhumed and placed on the road by members of Nnanyereugo family.

“This was after we had obtained a court judgment to bury my mother and brother’s wife,” said Osita Anopueme, son of the late elder Mrs Anopueme.

It was gathered that the exhumation of the bodies angered the youths who went on a rampage attacking passersby and journalists before setting houses belonging to Nnanyereugo family members ablaze. (The Nation)

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