Chinedu Okafor (not the real name), a middle-aged man from Umukwa village, Awka in Awka
South local government area of Anambra state narrowly escaped public flogging and heavy fines
on Thursday for allegedly trying to deceive his kinsmen about one of his children.
His late wife,Ngozi, was recently delivered of the baby boy before she developed post-natal complications
from which she, unfortunately, died.
Orient Weekend gathered that trouble started when kinsmen and guests who gathered for the
funeral and interment of the deceased discovered that the widower had lied to his kinsmen and
those of his late wife (his in-laws) that the child delivered of the late wife had died in the course
of the delivery.
Hell was let loose when, following serious interrogation by the elders and youths of the
community, Chinedu later admitted that he handed over the two-week old baby boy to his mother
for protective custody.
Amidst catcalls and rain of abuses, angry relatives and youths insisted
that the late wife could be buried only on the condition that Chinedu produced his children for
the two families to see.
A vehicle was quickly dispatched to fetch the children in question – a daughter and the two-
Pandemonium, however, set in when a vehicle conveying the two children drove into the funeral
venue as both elders and youths broke down in tears, with many wondering why the widower
decided to hide the identities of his children from his kinsmen and in-laws after the death of their
mother, his wife.
As the children were ushered in, the youths descended on Chinedu, dragged him out for instant
trial and charged him with deception and refusal to comply with communal traditions. In a
dramatic swift, the widower was sentenced to 24 lashes of the cane with an option of N50, 000
As he was being dragged to a public arena for the public flogging, daughters of the village
(umuokpu), led by their leader, intervened and prevailed plaintively on the youths for leniency.
Following the mitigation plea by the usually revered daughters (umuokpu) of the widower’s
family, the 24-lash penalty was waived and the fine for his deception was reduced to N20, 000,
though not without a few fiery slaps from the youths of the village.