“At around 5:00pm, another call came that the body had reached Uhuru bar, in Lira town and we rushed there, only to see Ekut seated at a bar with a girlfriend,” a resident said.
By Hudson Apunyo and Andrew Opio
A man who lied to his relatives through a friend that he had died and his decomposing body was recovered in Masindi town is being held at Lira Central Police Station (CPS).
Benson Ekut, 24, a fisherman, and resident of Ayago landing site in Amolatar district was arrested last week and charged for allegedly faking own death.
Ekut’s troubles started when he allegedly told Geoffrey Omol, to inform his relatives that his decomposing body was found in Masindi town.
“I have just called to inform you that we have found the body of a young man here and we suspect he died three days ago. So we are doing our best, but I request you to send sh300, 000 for treating the body and to purchase a coffin,” Omol reportedly rang and told Ekut’s relatives.
This forced the family members to sell their prized cow to get money to hire a vehicle to collect the body from Masindi.
Ojok Siraji, the LC1 chairperson of Oloro B, Anyomorem parish in Ngetta sub-county, said Omol introduced himself as the village chairperson of a village in Masindi town.
“We pitched camp at Ngetta Health Centre III to fuel an ambulance to pick the ‘body’ of our son. However, as we waited for the driver, Omol called us again and insisted that we send shs150, 000 to treat the rotting body, claiming he had secured a van to transport the body,” Ojok said.
“We waited up to 4:00pm for the body to arrive on Thursday, but when we tried calling the number, it was off. At around 5:00pm, another call came that the body had reached Uhuru bar, in Lira town and we rushed there, only to see Ekut seated at a bar with a girlfriend,” he added.
Agness Ojuka 45, Ekut’s mother told New Vision that the news of her son’s death tormented her seriously.
“Much as I have sold my cow to raise money for burial, I don’t regret because I have seen him again breathing and I want him pardoned,” she noted.
Traditional cleansing ritual
Ekut was taken to his village at Oloro B in Ngetta sub-county, where a team of elders carried out cleansing ceremony.
He was made to hold the fruit from sausage tree (Kigelia pinnata), locally known in Lango tribe as yago and he laid it in the grave before it was covered, a practice that is believed to block curses from trailing the family in such circumstances.
The sausage tree fruit is also buried in the grave where the person is considered dead, but the remains cannot be traced.
David Omong Mudong, the North Kyoga police spokesman said Ekut and the girlfriend Susan Akello were on Friday handed to police to assist in investigations. The case was registered at Lira CPS under reference number CRB 2940/2018.