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Failure To Register BVN Leads Police To Woman’s Secret Grave A Year After Her Death

The Special Anti-Vice Squad of Bayelsa State Police Command have arrested a 16-year-old secondary school student, Larry Godsgift, and his 53-year-old stepfather, Seimukumo Aganju, over the mysterious death and secret burial of a woman in the Akenpai area of Yenagoa Local Government Area (LGA), Bayelsa State.


‎The buried woman, identified as 43-year-old Joyce Sawyer, an indigene of Odi Community of Kolokuma /Opokuma LGA of the State, was reported to have died on March 13, 2015 in her home after a long battle with an unknown illness according to police sources.

It was gathered that the deeds would have gone unnoticed if not for the Bank Verification Number (BVN) required by the verification team of the State government for all State workers.

The deceased was a LGA worker, and when a colleague tried to alert her on the need for her to leave her sick bed and come forward to submit her BVN, it was discovered that she had died and was buried without the knowledge of anyone.

The death of Ms. Saw‎yer was kept secret by Godsgift Larry and Seikumeikumo Aganju, her son and husband, respectively, and was secretly buried behind their home without the knowledge of her family members.

It was gathered that the 16-year-old tried to convince his stepfather to notify Ms. Sawyer’s family, but Mr. Aganju refused, accusing his in-laws of not showing concern while the deceased was on her sick bed.

Close family sources said that although Mr. Aganju did not have a strong relationship with his in-laws, the decision to bury the late Ms. Sawyer against tradition is criminal and suspicious.

While many claimed the secret burial was conducted in order to evade a mortuary fee, others alleged that the suspects might have wanted to continue collecting Ms. Sawyer’s salary while she was dead and buried.

Confirming the incident, the spokesman of the Bayelsa Police Command, Asimin Butswat, said the investigation is ongoing.