A food vendor in Anambra State, Ngozi Aloefuna, is in the eye of the storm after she was discovered to have been in custody of the remains of her brother who died of mental illness about two years ago. The corpse of Stephen Aloefuna, a former footballer with Rangers International Club in the 80s, was hidden in the family house for the past two years until it had decomposed to a skeleton.
Residents of Amikwo Village, Awka South Local Government Area, where the incident happened, were benumbed by the shocking discovery, even as people accused Ngozi, the food vendor, of mischievously harvesting her brother’s body parts to cook the food she sells to the public in the market.
Daily Sun investigation revealed that the woman was a popular food vendor in Eke-Awka market. Eyewitnesses to the horror told our reporter that the remains of the young man had turned into a skeleton
when it was discovered by one of his brothers, who pressed Ngozi to show him where the late Stephen was buried.
The man, stunned by the bizarre sight, raised the alarm that attracted neighbours to the room. The sight shocked the neighbours, as they never imagined that they had lived with a decomposing corpse for the past two years. While suspecting Ngozi of sinister motives, the villagers alleged that she was using her late brother’s parts to prepare food for her customers, as nothing could explain why she locked up his remains in a room for two years.
It was gathered that the bewildered neighbours descended on Ngozi, as they demanded explanation for such evil. Sources disclosed that Ngozi admitted that it was the skeleton of her brother, Stephen, who died of mental sickness. However, her failure to explain why she hid the corpse increased people’s speculation that she had something sinister rolled up her sleeves.
But when Daily Sun went to the residence of the suspect to probe further, her relations denied the claim, insisting that she was innocent of any diabolical act. A member of the family, who spoke with our reporter on condition of anonymity, confirmed the death of Stephen, who he said suffered mental problem for many years before his death.
It was reported that Ngozi tried all she could do for him to recover from his sickness but all her efforts proved abortive. So, when he died, she called one of their brothers and reported the death of their brother, Stephen, but he allegedly shunned her and asked her not to bother him again. For the past two years, the corpse was denied a proper burial and abandoned in the room, where it decomposed to bones.
The dishonour to the dead came to light recently when Mr. Ifeanyi Aloefuna accosted Ngozi and demanded to see where the deceased was buried. It was at that point that she led him to the room where he beheld the terrifying skeleton of the late Stephen.
When this reporter asked Ngozi whether she was guilty of cooking her brother’s body parts, she said: “I am innocent. I did not kill my brother. Everybody knew he had a mental problem and was seriously sick before he died. Before he died, I was the only person that was taking care of him for years and nobody asked me how he was faring until he died. They said I killed him and used his body to prepare the food that I sell but only God knows the truth. I leave it for God to judge.”
She explained that shortly after her brother’s death, she called their elder brother, that was living outside the state but he warned her not to disturb his peace. According to her, since she could not bury his brother alone, she left the corpse in a room and covered him.
“I decided to cover him till he comes back because only I cannot bury him. After two years of his death, some of our family members came and asked of him and I told them he is dead and they said I should show them his grave. I opened his room and showed them where he died. Then I was arrested and taken to the police station,” she explained.
Ngozi denied embalming the corpse with native herbs to dry it and prevent any odour in the neighbourhood. One of the residents of the area told our reporter that a pungent smell pervaded the air within the area for many months in the past but no one could trace the source of the stinking odour. It was after the shocking discovery was made that residents felt disgusted of inhaling such odour from a decomposing corpse.
Daily Sun gathered that the remains of the deceased were taken to the police station, while Ngozi was detained and interrogated for some days. She was later granted bail when some of her kindred intervened. The relatives also buried the remains of late Stephen in their family compound.
When our reporter contacted the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Uche Eze, he confirmed the incident and said that investigations were ongoing.