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Drama as Rivers State govt debunk rumours of stolen body of LG chairman who allegedly died of COVID-19

  • State govt deny rumours that late LG chairman’s body was exhumed by unkown persons
  • Deploys security around Port Harcourt cemetery

By Iruoma Douglas, Port Harcourt

The story surrounding the death and burial of the late Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Odiari Princewill, who allegedly died of Coronavirsu (COVID-19) is becoming more dramatic as rumours were being peddled that his body has been exhumed by his family.

The deceased died on Wednesday night and the Rivers State government announced that he died of Coronavirus. 

It was gathered that the late chairman took ill few days before his death. He was diagnosed of typhoid fever and was transferred to the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, for better medical attention.

About three days later, the news of his death was announced which made his kinsmen and people of his Local Government Area to doubt the cause of his death.

Having declared that he died of COVID-19, the State government ordered his burial on Thursday morning at the Port Harcourt cemetery.

Meanwhile, on Friday, rumour went round the Port Harcourt area that the body of the deceased has been exhumed by yet to be known persons and taken to undisclosed location, awaiting proper burial as a Prince and Crown Chief of his area.

The unconfirmed rumour also had it that the State government had warned that the corpse be returned back or his community would face government wrath.

However, the State government has dismissed the rumour as untrue and baseless.

In a statement signed by the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, the government said the deceased grave was still intact, warning that any unauthorized persons found around the cemetery would be arrested and prosecuted.

According to the statement by Mr Nsirim, “the Rivers State Government  wish to state that the rumour making the rounds that the body of the late Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Odiari Princewill, has been exhumed from the Port Harcourt cemetery is  baseless and untrue.

“The grave where the deceased was interred is still intact as no one has tampered with it. Government hereby warns families, friends and relations who may want to desecrate the grave of the deceased that the full weight of the law will be visited on them.

“Security agencies have therefore been placed on red alert to ensure that only authorized persons come near  the cemetery. Any unauthorized person found around the cemetery will be arrested and prosecuted.”

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