By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
A resident of Onuebonyi Inyimagu community, Izzi Local Government Area, Mr. Patrick Alegu accused of confiscating the coffin meant for his neighbour’s burial, on Friday afternoon 17th May, 2019 was banished by the people of the area.
Mr. Sylvester Ogbunku, a resident of the area told Citizens’ Advocate that the people’s action was prompted by alleged refusal of the accused person who defied several orders of the village instructing him to return the casket so that the deceased could be buried.
He said that immediately after news of the seized coffin faltered into the air, the villagers then weighed the traditional implication of such act and as a result summoned the man.
When he honoured the call, instead of explaining explicitly the reason behind his action, he rather boasted of his action, calling himself ‘Ochalime’ meaning a mystery man in Izzi land and allegedly threatened to deal with anyone who dares him in the area.
He disclosed that it was later the man said that he had took unlawful possession of the casket, because pieces of his planks were used in the course of constructing the casket by the deceased in-law, Mr. Chinedu Nwogha.
According to him, Mr. Alegu had in the time past strangled a pregnant goat belonging to his neighbour without any justifiable reason and attacked someone’s dog which mistakenly ran into his compound with a matchet.
In the same vein, his wife was accused of uprooting tender fruited pumpkin of another resident.
Mr. Ogbunku further disclosed that it was based on all these alleged obnoxious attitude believed to be against the norms and values of the people that eventually led to the man’s banishment.
Mr. Alegu, in his reaction told Citizens’ Advocate that the seizure of the casket was stimulated by the alleged disrespectful behaviour of Mr. Nwogha whom he said secretly came into his compound and carried his planks without his approval and in his quest to recover his belongings, he then went and brought the already constructed casket to his home.
He further admitted to have committed the rest of the allegations leveled against him and as well pointed out that those incidents had earlier been settled amicably while adding that he had not done any evil as to be subjected to such inhumane treatment.
The village head of Onuebonyi Inyimagu, Comrade Ugo Sunday, condemned the alleged act and added that the accused person had ignored three time consecutively summons given to him by the people until the last period, which he attended and began to threaten everyone.
He said that beside the issue at hand, the man had involved himself in other unpleasant act which were not in conformity with their tradition and in order to be on safe side by keeping at bay something that might likely bring mayhem in the area, the man was then ostracized.