|Victim holding Poster|
A 66-year-old man, Mr. Clifford Osawaru, has raised the alarm over posters carrying his obituary on some streets in Okunmwuncommunity, Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The hotelier and father of 13, said he was shocked to spot his obituary on Thursday after he received phone calls from some of his relatives and friends who called to confirm the “announcement”.
A copy of the obituary poster, which was made available to our correspondent, revealed that his “burial” was scheduled for August 14, 2015 after his “remains” leaves the Central Hospital to his residence.
It, however, had the name of his eldest daughter as the announcer, as against the Benin tradition and did not have the contact of the printer.
Osawaru explained that although he had been at loggerheads with some members of the community over the illegal sale of land after he was made the patron, he was surprised to find out some persons could announce his death and burial arrangement while he was still hale and hearty.
He alleged that the unidentified persons had engaged in the unlawful sale of land without the consent of the elders,but had been restrained by a court order before he was later informed that his obituary posters had been pasted on the streets.
He, therefore, called on the Nigeria Police to unmask the culprits behind the act.
He said, “I was made the patron of the community by the Odionwerie and the elders. But some youths abandoned their jobs and focused their minds on selling land with fake papers in our community without the consent of the elders and myself.
“So, the Odionwerie and I went to court and restrained them from selling land. Then they said that I was the one behind it (preventing them from selling the land).
“That was why they printed this paper (obituary). Yesterday (Thursday), my relation told me about it and sent me a copy. So, I went to the Area Command to report to the police.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Stephen Onwochei, who confirmed the incident, described it as a “case of threat to life.”
Onwochei, however, assured that the command would commence investigation into the matter.
“The fellow whose obituary was published in writing, as I speak, has lodged a petition and we have received it and we are investigating that petition thoroughly.
“Suffice it to say that this type of threat to life comes under Section 323 of the Criminal Code which provides what I may call a strict liability offence.
“The investigation shall be carried out and it is my hope that those behind it shall be brought to book. Whatever discrepancies they have, which is not of immediate consideration now, should not be to the extent of going to publish the obituary of a man who is still alive,” he said.
Source: Punch Newspaper