The Anambra State Government has threatened residents with jail term for violating its burial laws still in force.
In a statement on Friday, Commissioner for Information, Paul Nwosu, said the House of Assembly had on April 9, 2019, enacted the Anambra State Burial/Funeral Ceremonial Control Law.
“It has come to the attention of government that the burial law of the state is only observed in the breach by Ndi-Anambra. Government hereby wishes to re-emphasise that the law is still in existence and applicable to burial and funeral ceremonies in Anambra State.
“The House of Assembly of Anambra State had on April 9, 2019 enacted the Anambra State Burial/Funeral Ceremonial Control Law. The law states that the burial/funeral ceremonies of an indigenous deceased person should commence with the registration and payment of N1,500 to the town union.
“No person shall erect any billboard, banner or posters of the deceased. Persons are allowed to erect only directional posts. No directional post shall be erected before seven days to the burial date and should be removed not later than seven days after the burial date,” the statement said.
He warned that violators of the provisions face a fine of N100,000 or six-month jail term or both.
“No person is allowed to block a road for any burial except with permission from the appropriate local government authority.
“No person shall publicly display a casket for the purpose of fabrication and sale in the state, and any person who contravenes is liable to pay a fine of N50,000 or go to jail for one month, or both.
“There shall be no second funeral rites after burial except in the case of legacy.
“There shall be no wake-keep of any kind for any deceased person in the state. All vigil-mass/service of songs/religious activity for the deceased prior to burial shall terminate latest by 9:00 p.m.
“There shall be no food, drink, live-band, cultural entertainers during and after any vigil-mass/service of songs/religious activity for the deceased,” the commissioner said.
He further warned that all burial/funeral ceremonies shall hold for only one day, while burial mass/services shall start not later than 9:00 a.m. and must end not more than two hours.
“No preserved corpse shall be exposed for more than 30 minutes. Undertakers should not be more than six in number and there shall be no undertakers’ display during the burial ceremony.
“There shall be no burial on any local market day of every town in the state. No funeral brochure shall be made except for the Order of Mass/Service.
“No person shall subject any relation of a deceased person to a mourning period of more than one week from the date of burial/funeral.
“The magistrate court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction over matters specified under the Anambra Burial Law,” the commissioner added.