Confusion As Muslims, Traditional Worshippers Fight For Corpse Of Suicide Victim

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Confusion and shock took the better part of Tuesday in Sagamu, Ogun State as Islamic leaders and some traditionalists were locked in a contest over the custody of remains of a 32-year-old man, who committed suicide in his room.

Muhammed Jamiu, a divorcee and father of one, was said to have committed suicide in his room at Yakubu Habibu Street in Agura area of Sabo, Sagamu on Monday night.

The deceased, until his sad end, was a Muslim but some traditionalists, it was learnt, allegedly took possession of the corpse shortly after they got wind of his demise and the circumstances surrounding it.

The traditionalists allegedly collected the key to the room where the man laid dead and went away, insisting that some rites must be performed on the body to avoid repercussion on residents in the area.

An Imam of Aduragbemi Mosque in Agura Sabo where the deceased prayed before his death, Nurain Ilyas, lamented while they were saddened over the death of their member, the traditional worshipers attempted to take over the corpse.

He said the deceased left no suicide note.

Ilyas said: “His name is Muhammadu Jamiu. He is 32 years of age. He was an electrician. He was married with one kid but divorced many years ago.

“He was an easy going person. He used to pray in my mosque and I do admonish him to make his faith stronger. I think he committed suicide by hanging himself.

“The police came to inspect the scene. It happened yesterday (Monday) evening.

“After we brought his dead body down from the ceiling where he hanged himself, we did not see anything to trace the reason why he hanged himself.

“I was even thinking that we would see his suicide note, but we did not see anything of such.”

Another Islamic leader, Imam Sonubi Dauda, said the Muslim leaders declined to offer the traditionalists what they requested for over the death of Jamiu.

He said the matter had been settled amicably and the man had been buried according to Islamic rites.

He alleged that the representative of traditional worshipers was demanding some amount for the rituals.

“He was asking for about N150,000 before he reduced it finally to N25,000 but  we refused and did not give them a dime.

“We collected the key to the room where the man hanged himself from them. I don’t know their problem since Police have ordered that the corpse should be buried.”

Police Public Relations Officer in the state Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the incident, saying the Police were informed of the incident.

Abimbola said the clash over the corpse between two religious groups was not formally brought to the Police but explained the command got the information the traditional ruler in the area resolved the issue for the people.

He said: “The deceased has been buried according to Islamic rites and the Imam and the family members have visited the Police Divisional headquarters in Sagamu to thank the police after the burial rites.

“The Police heard that the traditional ruler in the area has resolved the matter and nomalcy has returned. There is no problem.”

The leader of members of Osugbo-Remo in Sagamu, Ifasola Opeodu confirmed the incident but said it has been resolved.

Opeodu said some of his members were at the scene for the planned ritual but later left the corpse for the Islamic leaders after they had been appeased by the Palace authorities.

He said: “It is true that it happened. And at the end of the day, the Muslims were allowed to perform the ritual on the body. We learnt that the man was a muslim.”

He said: “If one commits suicide in the olden days, the Oro worshipers and traditionalists would perform rituals, but, things have changed now. We now have religions now.

“And so far, the Muslims will perform the ritual; our people left the body for them.

“At the end of the day, our members were settled; they were settled at the palace.”

The Nation

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