Cameroonpostline reports that the mortal remains of 76-year-old Comfort Eta, reportedly disappeared from the grave in Kumba on April 13, few hours after burial, following disagreement among family members.
While one faction of the deceased’s family buried her corpse on their Lido Street compound in Kumba, reportedly in hiding, a fight ensued among the relatives leading to the corpse being exhumed around 6.00pm the same day, by the opposing faction.
Reports hold that Eta’s remains were later ferried to the Kumba District Hospital Mortuary for preservation but the mortuary attendant objected. The corpse was then buried at the general cemetery on the instructions of the Meme Legal Department on April 14.
By Friday, April 15, one of the factions of the family reportedly marched to the office of the Senior Divisional Officer, SDO, for Meme claiming that the corpse of their mother and grandmother was missing. The Post learnt that the administration redirected the family members to the Legal Department.
Speaking to reporters on April 13, while the corpse was being exhumed, one of the relatives, Akem Takor, disclosed that he had, earlier on, refilled a grave dug for the same purpose behind the compound. He stated that Eta’s grandchildren hired thugs and friends from Fiango and dug the grave inside one of the rooms overnight without his knowledge. He told reporters that Eta was sneakily buried around 2.15pm same day.
Regarding the dispute over the compound, Akem said Eta was given the documents to the house when his father died. He stated that his father bought the land in 1973 but died in 1985 leaving behind fifteen children.
Claiming to be one of the two surviving children out of the 15, Akem faulted his aunt for failing to raise them up as per the instructions of the Chief of Takwa Village in Manyu Division. He explained that their Chief, at the time of handing over the document to the aunt, drew her attention to the fact that when the children of her brother attained maturity, they would take control of the property.
Akem lamented that, from January 2016 to early April, he requested for a meeting wherein the Chief and other relatives could discuss about the property, to no avail. He claimed that Eta and her grandchildren opposed the idea of a family meeting.
Akem inferred that Eta could not be buried in the compound because his father who owned the compound was buried at the general cemetery while the sister of the deceased also was not buried in the compound. Holding strong to his arguments by nightfall, Akem promised to abandon the corpse in front of the house for the other relatives to collect it for burial elsewhere.
On his part, Barrister Manasseh Ndip Bakwa, declared to reporters that the controversy over the compound had been longstanding.
Ndip said he grew in the same compound to know that his mother, aunt and uncle jointly acquired the property. Ndip said in the course of time, control over the property was transferred to Eta but argued that the deceased, while alive, pretended to be the sole owner of the property.
The man of law said the issue was already under investigation with the family programmed for questioning at the police on the day of the controversial burial. He said further that, Eta’s grandchildren took the matter to the Legal Department, wherein, he went and explained the intrigues.
He said the idea of burying Eta in the family compound was the decision of her grandchildren against the wish of the family. Ndip had assured reporters that the corpse was going to be buried at the general cemetery same Wednesday April 13.
Meantime, the Bafaw Traditional Council has reportedly slammed a fine of FCFA 500,000 plus three large cows on the family for desecrating the land.