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Rivers government warns against plans to exhume buried COVID-19 bodies

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The Rivers State Government has issued a strong warning to those attempting to invade the Port Harcourt cemetery to exhume bodies of their loved ones to have a re-think.

Reports emerged late Friday that the remains of the late Executive Chairman of Asari-Toru Local government area of Rivers State, Odiari Princewill who died of coronavirus, was exhumed.

It was gathered that Late Princewill’s body was exhumed by gunmen suspected to be natives of Buguma, his hometown.

But the Rivers state government downplayed the report describing it as rumours.

State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim in a statement said the rumour is baseless and untrue.

Nsirim stated that “The grave where the deceased was interred is still intact as no one has tampered with it.

“The Rivers State Government, therefore, warns families, friends and relations who may want to desecrate the grave of the deceased that the full weight of the law will be visited on them.

“Security agencies have, therefore, been placed on red alert to ensure that only authorized persons come near the cemetery.

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“Any unauthorized person found around the cemetery will be arrested and prosecuted.”

Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Nnamdi Omoni who led journalists to the grave said the report of the exhumation was intended to cause panic and raise unnecessary tension.

“I can authoritatively tell you that no such thing happened. The DPO went there to give us on the spot report. He went to the graveside of the Asari-Toru Chairman and told us that the grave is still intact. He even sent pictures of the cemented grave.

“I also called the Area Commander and he said he is not aware.

“We are not saying that it is strange but I don’t how they got such news. As a matter of fact, we are leading some journalists to the place so they can see for themselves.

“So, that story that the cemetery was invaded and somebody’s body exhumed should be discountenanced and disregarded. It was intended to cause panic and raise unnecessary tension,” Omoni said.

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