The Anambra State Government has reaffirmed the continued enforcement of its burial regulations, cautioning residents within the state against infringing upon them. This declaration was officially conveyed through a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, on Friday.
Nwosu emphasized that on April 9, 2019, the Anambra State House of Assembly had enacted the Anambra State Burial/Funeral Ceremonial Control Law. The statement emphasized that, “It has come to the government’s attention that the state’s burial regulations are frequently disregarded by the people of Anambra. Therefore, the government wishes to emphasize that these regulations remain in effect and are applicable to all burial and funeral ceremonies within Anambra State.
According to the law, the burial or funeral ceremonies for a deceased indigenous person must begin with the registration and payment of a fee of N1,500 to the town union. The law also prohibits the erection of billboards, banners, or posters of the deceased, allowing only directional signs. These signs cannot be erected earlier than seven days before the burial date and must be removed no later than seven days after the burial.
The statement issued a stern warning that anyone found in violation of these provisions could face penalties of a fine of N100,000, a six-month jail term, or both.
Furthermore, the law stipulates that corpses cannot be kept in the mortuary for more than two months from the date of death, with similar penalties for violators. Blocking roads for a burial event is not permitted without proper authorization from the relevant local government authority.
Publicly displaying caskets for the purpose of fabrication and sale within the state is also prohibited, with a fine of N50,000 or a one-month jail term, or both, for those who contravene this regulation.
Additionally, the law restricts second funeral ceremonies after burial, allowing exceptions only for legacies. Wake-keeping for deceased individuals is prohibited, and all related activities, such as vigil masses, service of songs, and religious events, must conclude no later than 9 pm.
Burial or funeral ceremonies are limited to a single day, with the burial mass or services commencing not later than 9 am and lasting no more than two hours. Preserved corpses should not be exposed for more than 30 minutes, and the number of undertakers is restricted to six individuals, with no displays during the burial ceremony.
Burials are not allowed on local market days of any town in the state. Funeral brochures can only be created for the Order of Mass/Service.
Moreover, the law restricts mourning periods for deceased individuals to no more than one week from the date of the burial or funeral.
Finally, the statement noted that matters related to the Anambra Burial Law are under the jurisdiction of the magistrate court, excluding other courts.
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