A popular food vendor in Eke-Awka market, Anambra State, Ngozi Aloefuna, has been arrested for being in custody of the remains of her brother, Stephen Aloefuna, a former footballer with Rangers International Club in the 80s.
His body was hidden in the family house for the about 2 years.
Residents of Amikwo Village, Awka South Local Government Area, where the incident happened, even went as far as accusing Ngozi of mischievously harvesting her brother’s body parts to cook the food she sells to the public in the market.
Sun news reports that the remains of the man had turned into a skeleton when it was discovered by one of his brothers, who pressed Ngozi to show him where the late Stephen was buried.
The man, stunned by the bizarre sight, raised the alarm that attracted neighbours to the room. The sight shocked the neighbours, as they never imagined that they had lived with a decomposing corpse for the past two years.
When Ngozi was asked whether she was guilty of cooking her brother’s body parts, she said: “I am innocent. I did not kill my brother. Everybody knew he had a mental problem and was seriously sick before he died. Before he died, I was the only person that was taking care of him for years and nobody asked me how he was faring until he died. They said I killed him and used his body to prepare the food that I sell but only God knows the truth. I leave it for God to judge.”
She explained that shortly after her brother’s death, she called their elder brother, that was living outside the state but he warned her not to disturb his peace. According to her, since she could not bury his brother alone, she left the corpse in a room and covered him.
“I decided to cover him till he comes back because only I cannot bury him. After two years of his death, some of our family members came and asked of him and I told them he is dead and they said I should show them his grave. I opened his room and showed them where he died. Then I was arrested and taken to the police station,” she explained.
Ngozi denied embalming the corpse with native herbs to dry it and prevent any odour in the neighbourhood. One of the residents of the area told our reporter that a pungent smell pervaded the air within the area for many months in the past but no one could trace the source of the stinking odour. It was after the shocking discovery was made that residents felt disgusted of inhaling such odour from a decomposing corpse.
The remains of the deceased were taken to the police station, while Ngozi was detained and interrogated for some days. She was later granted bail when some of her kindred intervened. The relatives also buried the remains of late Stephen in their family compound.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Uche Eze, confirmed the incident and said that investigations were ongoing.
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