Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano

Some rights groups have faulted the funeral control law passed by the Anambra State House of Assembly on Wednesday.

The legislature said the law would cut excesses in funerals in the state.

While the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, headed by Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, commended the law, the South-East zonal Chairman of Civil Liberties Organisation, Aloysius Attah, expressed reservation about it.

Speaking with our correspondent, Umeagbalasi said, “I have not seen the full content of the bill, but putting into consideration the travails the people pass through when trying to bury their loved ones, we commend every effort by any group to cut down the excesses in funerals.’’

But Attah said proper consultation was not made before the law was enacted.

He said the law should have originated from the local government areas and the peculiarities and cultures of individual community put into consideration.

He said, “It’s wrong to have a uniformed law in that direction. In as much as we won’t encourage high cost of funerals, the right thing should be done.’’

Commenting on the matter, the Catholic Bishop of Awka diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, said the extravagance displayed by the people during funerals in the state had reached a point where there was a need for an effective legislation to control it.

He said, “I consider the law as eternally significant to the citizens of the state and beyond. I have seen families sell their property and belongings to meet up with the expectations of society as regarding funeral expenses.’’

The bill, sponsored by a member representing Anaocha II constituency, Charles Ezeani, provides that in the event of death, no person shall deposit any corpse in the mortuary or any place beyond two months from the date of the death, while burials in the state shall be for one day.

It also bans destruction of property, gunshots, praise singing, road blocking and streets during burials.

It was learnt that a monitory committee would be set up to enforce the law when assented to by the governor and the punishments for defaulters.

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