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Navy ordered to give Ndubuisi Kanu befitting burial

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
12 October 2021   |   4:03 am
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the Nigerian Navy to fly the body of the late former military governor of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd) to Owerri tomorrow for a befitting burial.

Godwin Ndubuisi Kanu

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the Nigerian Navy to fly the body of the late former military governor of Lagos State, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd) to Owerri tomorrow for a befitting burial.

The trial judge, Christopher Balogun, while delivering ruling in over six hours proceedings, urged the parties to also maintain the peace.

The judge held: “I have listened to the parties in the suit, the children, wife and the representative of the community and a family member. It is hereby ordered that the body of the late Ndubuisi Kanu is secured and protected by the Nigeria Navy before and after the burial.

“The corpse should be dressed in his full Rear Admiral regalia as the Navy flies the body to Owerri, where it would be identified by the first daughter, ‘Ada’ and received by the Imo State Government, before taking it to his country home, Ohoroho Ovim.”

He also ordered that all affected parties should be entitled to partake in the burial.  “All parties are therefore ordered to maintain the peace. The substantive case is hereby adjourned to November 15, 2021 for mention.”

Justice Balogun had earlier ordered that the Navy must not release the corpse to anybody, citing security reasons and the dispute between the parties in the suit over who to partake in the funeral rites.

“Once there is a contention, it means an interloper can kidnap the body.

“All of you are contending over a dead body. There is a rift between the parties. The court must safeguard the deceased. The body must not disappear. The body has been with the Nigeria Navy since January,” Balogun observed.

The first, third to ninth defendants’ counsel, Tomilade Shodimu, told the court that the parties met as earlier directed.

There was a mild drama in court over Igbo tradition regarding who followed the body from mortuary in Ojo Lagos to the East for burial.

It took the judge hours to listen to each of the parties’ grievances.

The claimant and second wife of the late Kanu, Chief Gladys Kanu, alleged that the first defendant did not accord her respect.

She further alleged that her matrimonial home in the village was broken by one of the defendants, who she claimed had changed the locks.

Earlier, the first daughter, Nnenna Abiona (nee Kanu) expressed displeasure over the misunderstanding surrounding her father’s burial.