A man identified as Mr Uchenna Ugochukwu Joseph has been dragged to court by the Anambra State Government over the missing corpse of a 26-year-old woman, Okeke Chinonso.
According to the statement signed by the media aide to the Social Welfare Commissioner, Chidinma Ikeanyionwu, the suspect is the owner of the New Centuary Medical Complex Mortuary in Isuaniocha and has been taken to court through the ministry's Legal Unit.
“According to the complainants, Mrs Rejoice Odogwu, sister to the deceased and Mr Sopuruchukwu Okeke, the deceased's husband, (both pictured) late Chinonso's body was deposited at New Centuary Medical Complex Mortuary Isuaniocha on the 4th of August, 2023 but when the family was ready to bury her, they were given another corpse entirely different from who they deposited,” the statement read.
"Upon inquiry, they noted that the mortician insisted that who they were given is who they brought, which according to them is not true.
"They alleged that the corpse which was handed over to them, was that of an older woman, whereas theirs was a 26-year-old female. They also stated that the body deposited was on low cut before and after death but the body given to them had her hair weaved and that the body given to them had been operated upon whereas theirs had never undergone any form of surgery among other things they said were off with the body handed over to them.
"Mr Sopuruchukwu Okeke notified the Honourable Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, that after they refused to take the corpse which the mortician was forcing down their throat, the owner of the mortuary Mr Uchenna Ugochukwu Joseph started threatening them for refusing to take the embalmed body which according to them isn't who they deposited in the mortuary.
"When asked why they never visited the mortuary, Mrs Rejoice said that on her part she's scared of going to the place as she won't be able to control her emotions but that her in-laws' elder sister was denied access to the place because the mortuary attendant told her that they don't give pregnant women access to the morgue.
"They also hinted that all the while the sister-in-law was coming to see the deceased which they kept denying her access, the mortuary kept asking for the date of the burial which they didn't take as anything but rather trusted their services
"Mrs Rejoice Odogwu, sister to the deceased, noted that although they are from Ezinifite Okpuno Awka, the deceased until her death lived with her husband at Nkpor.
"She also revealed that late Chinonso died during childbirth which made them to bring her body near home in order to enable them prepare for the burial only to be defrauded of her corpse in October when they came to carry her remains''.
The sister of the deceased further stated that Mr Joseph afterwards approached them with the sum of 850,000 naira for settlement after the matter had been reported to the community
The case was filed and called up at Magistrate Court Achalla for a hearing.