First she died in Nigeria, was properly buried and forgotten, then suddenly she appeared in Benin Republic with a new life. Now she’s dead again. And then the real dead end.
To be candid, ruminating on this woman’s chequered sojourn on earth
invoked Figure it out for yourself, the title of one of scores of crime thrillers by James Hardley Chase; for, at the end of series of fragmetary sequences; you are still left wondering, if you got this one right.
Initially, telephone numbers rose flying around, purportedly belonging to one of her believed children. But then, on one occasion during which the said son was reportedly traced on phone, he told them that his mother died along time ago and that he was not going to come to claim the corpse of another woman.
He had moved on with his life in the northern part of Nigeria. Today, nobody owns up to still having the contact address of phone number of this mystery son. The same story is told of the documents removed from the late woman’s home. The official of the Nigerian community allegedly handed everything to the Beninoise authority. Confusion and more confusion.
Such was the variegated nature of this subject’s life thatat some point, she served in the officer cadre of one of the nation’s armed forcesonly to die unloved and abadoned, and her corpse unwanted. This was a woman that actually lived overseas at some point; she apparently enjoyed the famed, good life as a spinster; and, at the domestic level was married and had children.
Sadly, however, everything eventually went so kaputt that she died a lonely and forsaken woman. So unwanted was she, that her children and practically every otherfamily member did not only shun her in the twilight of her lifebut denied her outright, when informed she had passed on and that her body was waiting to be claimed in a morgue in a neighbouring foreign country.
The deceased gave up the ghost a few minutes after midnight on May 2, 2011; and, her remains were immediately deposited at Morgue Le Pardon, the only funerarium in Djeregbe. Djeregbe stands roughly 10 minutes’ drive from Porto Novo, capital of Benin Republic; and, coming from Seme-Krake, near Nigeria’s extreme south-western frontier; Djeregbe is barely five minutes’ drive after turning right at Porto Novo roundabout.
The fees for leaving acorpse at this morgueis CFA2,000 (N700) per day, but after thefirst 10 days; the cost rises to CFA3,000 (N1,050) daily. Counting from May 2, the mortuary bills hit CFA20,000 by May 12. With CFA3,000 daily subsequently, by June30 the bills had climbed another CFA147,000; bringing the total to CFA167,000 or N58,450 at the current exchange rateof N350 to CFA1,000. Furthermore, by July 20, the bill had risen by another CFA60,000(N20,000 approximately), thus bringing the total to N78,450. Add CFA33,000 (about N12,000) for another 11 days to July 31; and, we were talking of over N90,000. By August 30, the figure had exceeded N120,000.
However, it must be pointed out that the woman’s offspring have not abandoned the body due to financial implication. The deceased was a very wealthy person, and the sale of a fraction of her estatewill easily raise the money to pay off anybill accruing from her death and funeral.
It would therefore seem that the offspring’s rejection of any relationship with the dead womanarises from fear of exposure of kinship toone who was sick or worse still, for other reasons which; as some are wont to conjectutre, could even be considered sinister. If the contents of a video, we shall soon refer to, are anything to go by; the woman was allegedly initiated into a secret society sometime in 2005 by some juju worshippers in Akesan Town, Lagos.
In deed, the initiation was embedded in a house-warming ceremony. It is hard to say, whether or not she was conscious of what she was walking into at the time; for, even on film she was barely lively, instead of jubilant, whereas she was the celebrant of a house-warming ceremony. Interestingly, any onewatching the recording of that event would immediately notice the absence of guests during the Lagos celebration; which contrasts sharply with what transpired, when she held a similar party in Djeregbe near Porto Novo in Benin Republic.
Truly, there are manytwists and turns to this convoluted tale. Could a woman that died years ago in Nigeria die again in Benin Republic? Could someone or some people have done her in, in order to inherit her wealth?