Court orders burial of Nigerian industrialist

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A Nigerian high court sitting in Ohafia, Abia state has ordered that the remains of Chief Dike Ifegwu who died over a year ago be buried.

Ifegwu was the founder of Aba-based Dubic Breweries Nig. Ltd, producers of Dubic Lager Beer. He was also the founding chairman of the defunct Citizens Bank Nig. Ltd.

Delivering judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Amanze Chioma, said that it would be unreasonable to postpone the burial of a man that died over a year ago.

Chioma said that more damage would be done if the burial was postponed.

“The balance of justice tilts toward going ahead with the burial since money may have been committed few days to the burial.The issue of the estate will be sorted out in the court,” he said.

He also ordered the defendants to enter into agreement not to alienate any of the deceased’s children from the burial rites.

Chioma said that the defendants would pay whatever damage incurred by the claimants in the course of the case.

The judgment followed the vacation of an earlier court injunction on July 4.

The injunction was to restrain the eldest son of the deceased, Mr Udensi Dike and some relations, Urum Udensi and Okorie Udensi named as defendants from conducting the burial scheduled for 12 and 13 July.

Some of the deceased children: Mrs Nnenna Enweliku, Eunice Dike, Iheanacho Dike, Mrs Ndubeze Onyiuke and Nnenne Dike, had through an ex-parte application obtained an injunction restraining the defendants from burying their father.

They had alleged their alienation from their father’s burial rite as well as from the deceased property.

At the resumed hearing, the defendant applicants sought for the vacation of the order based on the grounds that it was obtained by misrepresentation of facts.

Counsel to the 2nd and 3rd defendant applicants, Bar. Emma Ukaegbu, told the court that at no time were the claimants alienated from the burial rites of their father or prevented from seeing their father’s corpse.

Ukaegbu urged the court to vacate the injunction for the burial of the man, while issues pertaining to the man’s property would be sorted out in court.

“The man is an international businessman and a lot have gone in the preparation of the burial” Ukaegbu said.

In his submission, Bar. Obasi Awa, counsel to the claimants, however, opposed the vacation of the injunction.

Awa said that reasonable damage would be done to his clients should the burial go ahead as planned.

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