JOSEPH WAYAS: How Family Feud Has Kept Ex-Senate President’s Body In UK Morgue For Over 2yrs -As His First Son And Second Wife Battle

The story of how some family members of late former Senate President, Dr Joseph Wayas had to pay £6,710 (about N13.3 million) to a London Morgue before they were granted access to his remains which was preserved there since 2021 is currently catching attention. It has further exposed the bitter war that has been consuming the family left behind.

Justice Maurice Odey Eneji l, Chairman of Joseph Wayas’ Burial Fact Finding Committee disclosed on the 27th of February, 2024 that the managers of the morgue  said the amount was the cost of maintaining the body and other charges for the two years  and three months since the death of Wayas on 30th of November, 2021.

Justice Odey, in a statement, disclosed that in line with the burial committee’s agreement with the deceased’s daughter, Ms Donna Wayas, the family still needs £60,478 (about N130 million). He also said that they have launched a passionate appeal to raise the money.

It would be recalled that since 2022 after a funeral committee was set up by former governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade to prepare for the burial of the late Senate President, there seems to be no headway in resolving the dispute among the family members. The committee headed by former attorney general of the federation, Kanu Agabi had At many times appealed to the late Senator’s family members to sheath their swords and enable the remains of their father to be laid to rest. The then Governor Ayade was even reported to have released N200m to support the funeral.

Wayas died in a London hospital on 30th November, 2021, after a lingering sickness, and his body has since been embalmed in that city under the care of one of the daughters. But controversies, including allegations of misapplication of funds, overwhelmed all the processes. The first son, Joe Wayas and second wife, Catherine hav locked on in a personality fight which has torn the family apart. Joe was accused of misappropriating money, which he stoutly denied it, insisting that the committee must give accounts. Joe also sued his father’s second wife, whom he said was never recognized as wife. He has approached a court in Abuja seeking to stop her from parading herself either as a widow of late Joseph Wayas or representative of his father’s estate. He has also refused to work with the committee. He had not hidden his anger at them and has been cautioning them to stop spoiling his name with lies.

A former executive secretary of the National Planning Commission, Fidelis Ugbo, who is a key member of the committee had said, “probe the first son to tell you what the situation surrounding the burial is. The responsibilities lie with him. He needs to open up on what the issues are on why the burial is delayed.”

Meanwhile, a prominent community leader, Chief Ojong Amos insisted that Joe Wayas should be blamed for the controversies.

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