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EBONYI: Police arrest man for stealing neighbour’s cow for father-in-law’s burial

THE State Command of the Nigeria Police has arrested one Ikenna Ogbonna Ota, a native of Azuoto Okpoitumo community in Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state.

Ota was arrested for stealing and presenting a stolen cow for the burial rites of his late father in-law.

 It’s a known tradition among the people of Izzi clan in the state to perform burial rites of their deceased relations, especially parents and in-laws with cows in order to avert stigmatisation by the people.

 Ota was reported to have visited the family house of his in-laws on Friday, December 9, for the presentation of materials for the burial of their late father. He had come with a female cow he allegedly stole from his community to present to them for the ceremony.

Unfortunately for him, the owner of the cow, Thomas Agbo, who came to sympathise with the family of the deceased, was able to identify the cow being presented by Ota as his missing cow and raised the alarm.

According to Agbo, prior to the burial date of his neighbour’s father-in-law, he had some days before went for a routine check on the cow in the bush but could not find it where it was tied.

    He explained that he was surprised to see the cow at Ebia Unuphu Community where he had gone to commiserate with the family of Okemini Oyibe.

    Agbo said that he saw the cow being tied with some Fulani cows for a presentation for the rites.

    He said “Ikenna Ogbonna Ota is my neighbour. I knew his father-in-law was dead and the burial was slated for 9th of December. Days before the ceremony, one of my cows went missing.”

“All efforts by my children to find it were not successful until I coincidentally saw it being presented at Ebia Unuhu by Ikenna for the burial rites of his father-in-law,” he added. 

When interrogated, Ota claimed that he did not steal the cow, instead he bought it at the sum of N110,000 from a man known as ‘Mr. No Time’ at Azu-Ebonyi, Amachi Unuphu, a neighbouring village to Azuoto Okpuitumo.

When contacted, spokesperson of the state police command, SP Chris Anyanwu, said the suspect would be charged to court after the investigation.

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