The Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano has approved a new burial law in the state effective May 14, 2020.
Anambra is a state known for carrying out expensive burial ceremonies, however, that might be coming to an end with this new burial law that the governor has assented to.
Details of the Anambra New Burial Law
According to the new law, all the communities in the state must have burial grounds. Also, funeral ceremonies of indigenous deceased persons must be registered with the town union at a fee of N1,500, while the erection of any billboard, banner or posters of any kind of deceased persons would attract N100,000 fine or six months jail term or both.
However, the deceased’s family will not be fined or jailed if directional posts leading to the venue are not erected before seven days to the burial date and removed not later than seven days after the burial date. If the family does otherwise, they would be liable to pay the fine or be jailed.
The new burial law requires that the Commissioner for Lands in Anambra State create burial grounds in every community where rejected corpses and unidentified corpses would be buried.
Also, there would be monitoring and implementation committees and members of the committees would be paid a remuneration to be determined by the town union.
The law provides that the monitoring committee would be responsible for registering all deaths in the town, and giving clearance for every burial/funeral ceremony, as well as submitting records of the implementation of the law to the Department of Town Union and Chieftaincy Matters in the state.
Other provisions of the law read in part:
”The corpse must not be deposited in the mortuary or any other place beyond two months from the date of death;
”No blocking of road/street because of burial except with the approval of the appropriate local government authority;
”No wake keep of any kind for any deceased person, while religious activity for the deceased person prior to the burial must end by 9:00 pm; and there must be no food, drink, live band or cultural entertainers during and after religious activity for the deceased person.
“All burial ceremonies must be for one day and the burial services must start not later than 9:00 am and must not last more than two hours, just as no preserved corpse must be exposed for more than 30 minutes from the time of exposition.
“All condolence visits after any burial ceremony, must not exceed one day and no person must give the deceased person’s family a condolence gift exceeding money for one jar of palm wine, one carton of beer and one crate of soft drink.
For deceased women, there must be no demand of more than N10000 by her maiden family, while wearing of special uniform is restricted to the immediate family of the deceased person and church groups.
The new burial law in Anambra also provides that Magistrate courts in the state have the jurisdiction to try offenders.