The Anambra State Government has reaffirmed the enforcement of its burial laws and cautioned residents in the state against disregarding them.
In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, the government emphasized the continued applicability of the Anambra State Burial/Funeral Ceremonial Control Law enacted by the State’s House of Assembly on April 9, 2019.
The law outlines regulations for burial and funeral ceremonies within Anambra State, including the requirement to register and pay N1,500 to the town union for an indigenous deceased person’s burial or funeral. It prohibits the erection of billboards, banners, or posters of the deceased, allowing only directional posts, which can be placed no earlier than seven days before the burial date and must be removed within seven days after the burial date.
The statement warned that violations of these provisions could result in a fine of N100,000 or a six-month jail term or both upon conviction. The law also restricts depositing a corpse in a mortuary for more than two months from the date of death, blocking roads for burials without permission from the local government authority, and publicly displaying caskets for sale in the state.
Furthermore, the law limits wake-keeping activities and cultural entertainers during and after vigil-mass/service of songs/religious activities for the deceased, emphasizing that such ceremonies should terminate no later than 9 pm. It specifies that all burial/funeral ceremonies shall be limited to one day, with burial mass/services commencing no later than 9 am and lasting no more than two hours.
The law also regulates the exposure of preserved corpses and the number of undertakers involved. It restricts burials on local market days and the creation of funeral brochures, except for the Order of Mass/Service. Mourning periods are limited to one week from the date of burial/funeral.
The statement concludes that the magistrate court has original jurisdiction over matters specified under the Anambra Burial Law.
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