Anambra Bans Burial Billboards and Warns Residents Against Breaking the Rules
In a resolute declaration, the Anambra State Government has reaffirmed the steadfast application of its burial laws, cautioning residents within the state against transgressions. This stern reaffirmation was articulated in an official statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, on a recent Friday.
Nwosu emphatically conveyed that the Anambra State House of Assembly, on April 9, 2019, passed into law the Anambra State Burial/Funeral Ceremonial Control Law. He underscored that this law’s provisions, integral to the regulation of burial and funeral ceremonies in Anambra State, remain in full force.
The statement from the government elucidated, “It has come to the government’s attention that the burial law of the state is being consistently disregarded by Ndi-Anambra. Therefore, the government wishes to stress that the law is still effective and applicable to all burial and funeral ceremonies in Anambra State.”
Under the purview of this legislation, it is mandated that the commencement of burial or funeral ceremonies for an indigenous deceased individual necessitates registration and the payment of a fee amounting to N1,500 to the town union. Erecting billboards, banners, or posters in memory of the deceased is expressly prohibited. The sole permissible form of signage comprises directional posts, which should not be erected before seven days preceding the burial and must be removed no later than seven days after the burial.
The government further cautioned that contravention of these provisions carries substantial penalties. Those found guilty may face a fine of N100,000, imprisonment for six months, or both.
Additionally, the law dictates that the deposit of a deceased person’s remains in a mortuary is not allowed for more than two months from the date of death. Violation of this directive may result in a fine of N100,000 or a six-month prison sentence, or both.
Roads cannot be obstructed for any burial without prior authorization from the appropriate local government authority. Public display of caskets for the purpose of fabrication and sale within the state is also strictly forbidden. Any transgression of this clause carries a penalty of N50,000, a one-month jail term, or both.
Furthermore, the law restricts the practice of second funeral rites after the burial, except in cases of legacy. Wake-keeping ceremonies are expressly prohibited, and any vigil mass, service of songs, or religious activity for the deceased prior to burial must conclude by 9pm.
Food, drinks, live entertainment, and cultural performances are all prohibited during and after such activities. All burial and funeral ceremonies are to be confined to a single day, with burial masses or services commencing no later than 9am and lasting for a maximum of two hours.
Preserved corpses are not to be exposed for more than 30 minutes. The number of undertakers should not exceed six, and their display is prohibited during the burial ceremony. Burials are not permitted on local market days in any town within the state.
Funeral brochures may only be produced for the Order of Mass/Service, and subjecting any relative of a deceased person to a mourning period exceeding one week from the date of burial is disallowed.
The statement made clear that the magistrate court holds exclusive jurisdiction over matters specified under the Anambra Burial Law. This comprehensive legislation stands as a clear directive, and the government is committed to its rigorous implementation to maintain order and decorum in burial and funeral ceremonies across the state.