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Family of late nun accuses American embassy of frustrating deceased’s burial

Family of late nun accuses American embassy of frustrating deceased’s burial
March 10
11:13 2020

The family of late Angela Egbikuadje, a reverend sister who was an American citizen, has accused the United States embassy in Nigeria of frustrating the burial of the late nun.

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The family said the refusal of the US embassy to grant entry visas to the relatives of the deceased, who was of Nigerian descent, is affecting the burial plans.

The family added that the deceased congregation, Secular Institute of the Missionaries of the Kingship of Christ, (SIM), is also in confusion as it cannot inter her remains without the presence of the family members.

In January, the US had imposed a ban on the issuance of immigrant visas on Nigeria and six other six countries.

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The ban, however, did not apply to other US visas such as those for official, business, tourism and student travel.

“We have it on good authority that the embassy turned down the visa applications of Mrs. Anthonia Eneta Nwosu and Mr. Emmanuel Egbikuadje, under the pretext ‘that you have been found ineligible for a non-immigrant visa under Section 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act’,” the family said in a statement.

According to the statement, the deceased, in her will, had expressly set out under “Statement of Interment, Cremation and Wishes,” that, “it is my desire to be interred in a burial spot.”

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She reportedly willed that her “funeral mass will be at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and a Catholic funeral in a cemetery in Bakersfield, California”.

The family explained that Franca Niameh, a member of SIM, in a letter dated February 10, notified the family of the late sister’s death.

Niameh had explained that the deceased body had been deposited in the Doughty-Calhound-O”Meara, a mortuary in Bakersfield, pending the time family member would be able to come to initiate plans for the funeral.

In the letter, SIM reportedly said: “We can only pray that the embassy will grant you the permission you need to come and bury your sister, as the religious congregation, the Secular Institute of the Missionaries of the Kingship of Christ, she belongs to, does not take care of funerals.”

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The family said as things stand, the remains of the late nun would have to “lie endlessly at the mortuary” unless the US embassy reviews the decision to grant her family members entry visas to that country.

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