Widow who reportedly refused to drink bathwater of husband’s corpse in Anambra gets govt. backing

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Reprieve came the way of one Mrs Chioma Asomugha, 34, from Ubahuekem in Ihiala of Anambra State, who claimed she was forced to drink the bathwater of her late husband’s corpse by her in-laws.

The in-laws, according to her, suspected that she killed her husband, and drinking the water would prove her innocence or guilt.

Such was the practice in the olden days among some Igbo communities when a wife was suspected to have killed her husband.

The woman who did not die within a month after drinking the water was believed not to have killed the husband.

According to Mrs Asomugha, she lived peacefully with her late husband, Charles, at Ojo area of Lagos before he died.

She said, “We have four children. We lived at Ajangbadi, Ojo area of Lagos. The burial was fixed for Monday June 14, but since we came home for the burial, the relatives of my husband forced me out of my matrimonial home.

“They insisted that before I would be allowed to come in, that I would drink the water used in bathing his corpse.”

However, succour came her way on Friday as the Anambra State commissioner for social welfare, women and children’s affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue, and her information and public enlightenment counterpart, Mr C-Don Adinuba, waded into the matter.

Lady Mezue, during a visit to the family, advised the family members to do away with such obnoxious practices and learn to forgive one another.

Mr Friday Asomugha, brother to the deceased, however, denied that the family compelled the widow to drink the bathwater of her husband’s corpse.

According to him, one of their relatives made such statement out of anger because the widow left behind their four children when she returned for the burial.

According to reports, the burial eventually went ahead without any problem.

In a speech, Mr C-Don Adinuba, a native of the community, called for the protection of the image of the community as well as the state by doing away with archaic and harmful practices capable of tarnishing the image of society.

The widow was presented with some food items during the visit.

Our correspondent reports that matter attracted the attention of the Catholic Church, International Federation of Women Lawyers, and the National Human Rights Commission.

 

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