Nnewi By-law

Post on 05 May 2000
by Prof. E. U. Obienu
in Custom

Nnewi Funeral and marriage Rules and regulations

MARRIAGE CEREMONIES

1. 1. FIRST VISIT -(lku Aka N'Uzo)

(a) In accordance with ancient practice, a prospective suitor shall make an initial approach to his proposed in-law (Known as Iku Aka N'uzo).

(b) Not more than four (4) persons shall make the first call with only two (2) gallons of Up-wine.

(c) The host shall not entertain the visitors with any food. 

PENALTY. - Any person who infringes the provisions of section l (b) above shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of One thousand Naira (Nl, 000.00) 

2. 2. SECOND VISIT -(Ife ana) (Composition and rules)­ 

(a) Not more than eight (8) persons shall undertake the second visit during which the suitor shall present to his proposed in-law not more than two (2) gallons of up-wine, two (2) gallons of Ngwo, one (1) carton of beer, one (1) crate of mineral, or one (1) carton of malt. 

(b) The host shall in accordance with cus­tom present on this occasion, one bowl of food (otherwise called "Otu alia nni). 

PENALTY - Any person who infringes the foregoing provision of section two shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Five thousand Naira (N5, 000.00). 

3. 3. THIRD VISIT - (IDURU NWANYl) 

(a) Not more than fifty (50) persons shall accompany the suitor on this occasion during which he would present not more than four (4) gallons of up-wine, four (4) gallons of Ngwo, six (6) car­tons of Beer, four (4) crates of mineral, two (2) cartons of small stout and two (2) bottles of hot drink 

(b) In pursuance of the above, no other drink shall be demanded by the hosts from the suitor. 

(c) The suitor is thereby prohibited from carrying extra drinks for whatever purpose.

(d) The above stipulated drinks from the suitor shall be shared' generally by all the people present at the occasion.

(e) Nothing in section (3) above shall pre­vent the suitor from providing the following:

(i) for the prayer session i.e. Igo-Ofor, two (2) gallons of up-wine, one (1) Hot drink, one (1) carton of beer and eight (8) pieces of Kolanuts.

(ii). for payment of bride price: One (1) carton of beer only. 

(f) The host shall present to his guest on this occasion, three (3) bowls of food otherwise known as "alia nni   n' ato" and one (1) bowl of food to be taken home by the suitor otherwise called "alia nni uno".

PENALTY - Any person who infringes any of the provisions of section 3 shall upon proof thereof be liable to penalty of Ten thousand Naira (N10, 000.00) 

4. 4 (a) SUBJECTION MERGING OF SECOND AND THIRD VISITS:

In the case of a suitor and his in-law agree­ing to merge the second and third visits, the provisions of sections two and three shall apply. The items stipulated on the various visits may be merged, but never the number of persons. The highest number of persons on the merging visits shall prevail at the occasion.

4 (b) BRIDE PRICE AND LIMITATION Without prejudice to the age-old custom not to haggle over bride price, no in-law shall demand from his suitor for a bride to be given out in marriage any amount in excess of the limit prescribed in the limitation of Dowry law 1956, law of Eastern Nigeria. 

5. IKWA NKWU. (Practice relating to IKWA NKWU)

(a) Not more than one hundred (100) persons shall company the suitor on this occasion during which he shall present to his in-law not more than two (2) goats, ten (10) gallons of up wine, ten (10) gallons of Ngwo, two (2) bottles of hot drink, five (5) cartons of beer, ten (10) crates of mineral, two (2) car­tons of malt drink and one (1) carton of small stout.

(b) Gifts by the suitor to the following groups that is to say, Ime-Nne, Umu-Okpu, Umu-­Okolobia, Inyomdi, Ogo-ya nwoke, Ogo ya nwanyi, Nwanyi na akwa nkwu ya (the bride) shall be as follows- 

(1) Ime Nne - Two

(2) gallons of Nkwu Enu, two (2) cartons of beer, two (2) gallons of Ngwo, two (2) crates of min­eral, aile (1) carton of small stout.  (2) Umu Okolobia - two (2) cartons of beer, two (2) packets of cigarette. . 

(3) Inyomdi - One (1) carton of beer, one (1) carton of malt, two (2) crates of mineral, twelve (12) bottles of small stout and one hundred Naira (N100.00). 

(4) Umu Okpu - One (1) carton of beer, one carton of malt, one (1) crate of min­eral, twelve (12) bottles of small stout and one hundred Naira (N100.00). 

(5) Ogo-ya Nwanyi - One (1) carton of malt, one (1) crate of mineral. 

(6) Ogo-ya-nwoke - One (1) carton of small stout, one (1) crate of mineral, two (2) cartons of beer and one (1) car­ton of malt. 

(7) Nwanyi ana akwa nkwu ya (the bride). - One (1) carton of malt and one (1) crate of mineral. 

(c) The suitor is hereby prohibited from carrying extra drinks for whatever pur­pose. 

(d) The drinks provided in section 5 (1) above apart from the hot drink shall be shared generally by all the people present at the occasion. 

(e) Nothing in this section 5 (c) above shall prevent the suitor from providing the following for the prayers session (Igo-Ofor) - two (2) gallons of up-wine, one (1) carton of beer, one (1) hot drink and eight (8) pieces of kolanuts. 

(f) The host shall provide his guests with not more than six (6) bowls of food (alia nni isii) and one (1) goat. 

(g) The bringing of cooked food by the suitor to his in-laws place on this occa­sion is hereby prohibited. 

(h) The use of mobile public address sys­tem, the radio and the television, to pub­licise, advertise or announce the Akwa ­Nkwu Ceremony is hereby prohibited. 

(i) Gun/Cannon shots of any sort, stag­ing of musical band/troupe, dancing group/troupe, masquerade, spraying of money or any from of materials are not allowed at the Ikwa Nkwa Ceremony. 

(j) No form of entertainment, partying by the suitor around the premises or neighbourhood of his host/in-law is al­lowed on the day of Ikwa Nkwu Cer­emony. 

PENALTY - Any person who infringes any of the provisions of this section 5 (a), 5 (b), 5 (c), 5 (d), 5 (e), 5 (f), 5 (g), shall upon proof of thereof be liable to a penalty of Ten thousand Naira (Nl0, 000.00). While in­fringement on each of the provisions of sec­tions 5 (h), 5 (i), and 5 (j) shall upon proof - thereof be liable to a penalty of Twenty thousand Naira (N20, 000.00). 

5. 6 IKPOLUUNO 

(a) Not more than 20 persons including the family (i.e. the father and mother) of the bride's shall perform the Ikpolu Uno Ceremony, during which the bride's father shall present two (2) gallons of up-wine, two (2) gallons of Ngwo, and One (1) cartoon of beer. 

(b) The suitor may present food, goat, and cash gifts as specified below:  Father-in-law N250.00  Mother-in-law N150.00  Isi Ada N50.00  Oldest member of the- family N100.00  (c) On no account shall any other items be presented at the ceremony. 

PENALTY - Any infringement of this sec­tion shall Upon Proof be liable to a penalty of Ten thousand Naira (Nl0, 000.00) by both the giver and the recipient. 

6. 7. IDU UNO 

(a) A father-in-law or any person in loco-­parenti may present to his daughter the usual traditional items such as Ikwe na Odu, pots and pans, goats and fowls, Osite, Ngiga, Okwa na Eku, Ngazi, Ute-nwa, Aziza, Ji na Ede, bucket and lamp, without any prejudice to any gifts which a father could give her daugh­ter. 

PENALTY - Infringement of the above pro­visions shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Twenty Thousand Naira (N20, 000.00) 

7. 8. IKUJENWA 

(a) For the purposes of presenting children to their maternal family by an in-law, the following items of customary gift may be presented however (that) the number appearing hereunder shall not be exceeded. That is to say two (2) cartons of beer, two (2) crates of soft drink, two (2) gallons of up-wine, two (2) gallons of Ngwo, one (1) bottle of hot drink, one (1) he-goat if the child/children is/are a male(s) and one (1) hen if the child/children is/are a female(s) and one (1) bowl of food (Ofu alia nni). 

Penalty - Any person who infringes the pro­visions of this section shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Twenty-five thousand Naira (N25, 000.00)  SUBJECTION KOLANUT TRADITION The formal presentation of kola-nut as is in tradition of our people is not in any way affected by any of the provisions of this tra­ditional marriage bye-laws.  B. FUNERAL CEREMONIES 

8. 9. PROHIBITION OF IKWA OZU OKPOO 

(a) Any person who dies before the 1st day of December of any year shall be bur­ied before the said date or if the body is preserved in a mortuary shall not have his or her funeral obsequies performed between the 1st day of Decem­ber, and 2nd day of January of the suc­ceeding year. 

(b) The provisions of section 9(a) above relating to Ikwa ozu Okpoo which have been enforced since December 1981 are hereby affirmed. 

(c) If there is any death in December and no mortuary is involved immediate fu­neral ceremony could be performed. 

PENALTY - Any bereaved family" which infringes the provisions of this section shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Fifty thousand Naira (N50, 000.00). 

9. 10. FIRING OF GUN SHOTS 

(a) The firing of hand or double barrel guns at funerals is hereby strictly prohibited. 

PENALTY - Any bereaved family or per­sons which infringes the provision of sec­tion 10 (a) above shall upon proof thereof 15"e liable to a penalty of Ten thousand Naira (10,000.00) 

10. 11. USE OF MICROPHONES/PUB­LIC ADDRESS SYSTEM

Microphones or Public Address Sys­tems shall only be used to announce the entry of individuals or groups and not for personal description, praises or favour so­licitations. 

PENALTY - Any' bereaved family which permit the infringement of the provisions of section 11 above shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Ten thousand Naira (N10, 000.00).  PENALTY - Any owner/operator of the said microphone or public address system who infringes or permits the use of his equip­ment for the said infringement of this pro­vision 11 is also personally liable to a pen­alty often thousand Naira(N10, 000.00). 

11. 12. BUYING AND SELLING AT FUNERALS

The buying and selling of articles of trade by whatever name of description dur­ing the period of burial or funeral of a per­son, within the precincts of a deceased com­pound is hereby prohibited. 

PENALTY -"Any person who carries on such trade or buys in contravention of the provisions of section 12 above shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Five thousand Naira (N5, OOO.OO) 

12. 13. MOURNING DRESS 

Only members of the immediate fam­ily of a deceased shall be permitted to wear mourning dresses identifiable as such chil­dren, father, mother, grandmother, grand­father, grand children, brothers and (wives). 

PENALTY - Any infringement of the pro­visions of this section 13 or both above shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Twenty thousand Naira (N20, OOO.OO) pay­able by the chief mourner. 

13. 14. RULES AS TO ITU - UKWE 

No person other than the immediate daughters or immediate sisters/daughters of a deceased person, the wife/wives of the son/sons of grand daughter of the deceased per­son, daughters and grand daughter shall be allowed to participate in the Itu-Ukwe and Inye Oji during any funeral ceremony. 

PENALTY - Any infringement of the pro­visions of this section shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Ten thou­sand Naira (Nl0, 000.00) payable by the chief mourner. 

14. 15. CONDOLENCE GIFTS AND RECORDS 

(a) Only one common tray shall be used for collecting condolence money or gifts during any funeral ceremony. 

(b) Recorders shall not be permitted to sit along with the mourner on' the same table for the purpose of taking such records.  PENALTY -Any bereaved family, which infringes on any of the provisions of this section, shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Five thousand Naira (N5, 000.00). 

15. 16 ENTERTAINMENT BEFORE BURIAL AND DURING FU­NERAL CEREMONY

The serving of drinks, food, or bread to sympathizers before a deceased person is buried, that is to say, committed to the mother earth is hereby prohibited.  PENALTY - Any bereaved family which infringes the provisions of section 16 shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Five thousand Naira (N5000.00).. . 

16. 17. RIGHT TO PRESENT COW OR ACCEPTANCE OF ITS ROPE 

(a) The presentation and acceptance of a life cow or its rope by any person or group of-persons on or before a funeral ceremony as a condolence/assistance gift item is hereby prohibited except in Iba-Ufo or Ibu Ozu Nwada  (b) The display of life cow(s) within the precinct (area) of a funeral ceremony by the mourner(s) is also prohibited.  PENALTY - Any person who infringes on any of the provisions of section (a), (b) that is to say, present, accept or display' such cow(s) or its rope shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Fifty thousand Naira (N50, 000.00). 

17. 18. WINE CARRYING PROCESSION BANNED 

(a) The practice by which condoling in­ laws or friends or sympathizers in a procession, with everyone carrying wine on their heads into a deceased compound is hereby prohibited. 

(b) Nothing in this section shall be inter­preted to mean that condoling parties shall not come in a procession, but how­ever, that carrying of drinks on the head, as has been the practice shall not be allowed. 

(c) Not more than one piece of cloth; two (2) cartons or crates of bottled drinks and/or two (2) gallons of palm wine and money shall be presented to the mourners on the table. 

PENALTY - Any chief mourner who vio­lates any of the provisions of this section 18 shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty often thousand Naira (N10, 000.00) 

18. 19. SPRAYING OF MONEY, CLOTH­ING ETC. 

(a) The practice of spraying of money, clothes and/or any other gift item on any person whosoever at a funeral cer­emony is hereby prohibited. 

PENALTY - Any infringement by any per­son of the provision of this section shall upon proof thereof be liable to a penalty of Fifty thousand Naira (N50, 000.00). 

19. 20. PERIOD OF CONFINEMENT OF WIDOW ETC. 

Period of confinement of a widow shall be three (3) months. The mourning clothes may be  black/white or lace and is optional. 

20. 21. MOURNING BY UMUOKPU ETC 

The period of mourning by the Umuokpu shall not exceed two (2) days.  PENALTY - Any bereaved family, which allows an infringement of this section 21, shall upon proof thereof be liable to a pen­alty of Five thousand Naira (N5, 000.00) 

21. 22. CONCURRENT/MULTIPLE FUNERAL CEREMONIES. 

(a) The practice of holding a funeral cer­emony of a deceased woman in more than one location at a time is hereby prohibited. If the woman is re-married, her funeral shall be held at the house of her immediate husband, the children from the previous husband can only mourn and receive private condolence (Mgbata) in their home(s). 

PENALTY - Any infringement of the above provision 22 (a) is liable upon proof thereof to a penalty of Ten thousand Naira (N10, 000.00). 

(b) TRADITION OF "IBU OZU NWADA" 

The tradition of Ibu-Ozu Nwa Ada is hereby upheld. But the practice of stag­ing concurrent funeral activities' at the premises of the parents or brothers of the deceased woman is hereby banned. This is to say, the receiving of private condolence (Mgbata) by the parents or brothers of a deceased woman in the manner of people in procession and with condolence clothes shall not be allowed. Also tables and tray(s) shall not be placed before the condoled ones. Only carton/_rate of bottled drinks or jar of palm wine may be publicly pre­sented to the condoled person(s).  NOTE: - No condolence cloth, trays, setting of tables/canopy, no gun/canon shots except at Mbunata Ozu Nwada. . 

PENALTY - Any infringement of this pro­vision 22 (b) is liable upon proof to a pen­alty of Ten thousand Naira (N10, 000.00). 

22. IMPLEMENTATION RECOMMENDATIONS 

We observed that the main reason why the previous marriage and funeral rules and regulations in Nnewi failed was that; there was no provision for effective implementa­tion of the bye-laws. We therefore recom­mend that two sub-committees be set up by Nzuko-Ora Nnewi to see to the effective­ness of the bye-laws. They include one monitoring committee (three persons per ward). The names of these shall be submit­ted to the Nzuko-Ora by the ward Chair­man. The monitoring committee shall ex­ist at the ward levels in Nnewi (Wards 1-51). 

CROSS-MONITORING A member of any ward monitor in Nnewi (wards 1 - 51) serves as a cross monitor anywhere in Nnewi.  All monitoring committee members should be provided with identity cards by the Nzuko - Ora. The ward monitors owe the responsibility of making a formal report' to the Nzuko - Ora Executive or enforcement Committee on any infringement in their wards which any other ward monitor (s) who bears wit­ness/cross monitors - the occasion should report to the Executive of Nzuko-Ora Nnewi or Enforcement Committee. The Enforce­ment Committee on satisfying itself that the Bye-laws have been breached would then enforce the penalty. 

23. ENFORCEMENT COMMITTEE 

This will consist of thirty-one (31) per­son constituted as follows- 

Otolo - Nine (9) persons nominated by Otolo 

Uruagu - Seven (7) persons nominated by Uruagu. 

Umudim - Five (5) persons nominated by Umudim. 

Nnewichi. - Four (4) persons nominated by Nnewichi. 

Nzuko - Ora Nnewi Provosts 4 persons. A provost from each quarter  A Chairman - (1) Appointed by the Nzuko - Ora Executive  A secretary - (l) Appointed by the Nzuko - Ora Executive TOTAL 31 persons 

24. MODALITIES OF ENFORCEMENT 

The enforcement committee is empowered to collect any movable Property/Properties of the offender worth about the sum of money the offender is liable to, on their second or third visit to the person.  3. The assembly of Nzuko - Ora Nnewi shall be informed of all reported cases from the ward(s) by the Executive/Enforcement committee within two months of receiving such report and appropriate action taken. 

RULES AND REGULATIONS IN NNEWI

The above rules and regulations were read three times to the Assembly of Nzuko - Ora Nnewi at its monthly meetings. Observa­tions, comments and various suggestions were made and the corrections made appro­priately.  The last reading and corrections were made by the house on 2nd April 2000.  It was then resolved and be it resolved by the whole house that these rules and regu­lations be the guiding principles for our Funeral/Marriage Ceremonies in Nnewi town made up of four (4) quarters of Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim and Nnewichi quarters and With fifty - one (51) administrative wards.  H.R.N. Igwe K. O. N. Orizu III Igwe Nnewi has graciously read through the rules and regulations, and made his suggestions and corrections. He then gave his Royal (Highness) assent to the marriage/funeral ceremo­nies rules and regulations this day fifth of May 2000 (5/5/2000).

Also copies were sent to the Obi Nnamdi Obi - Obi Uruagu, Obi Z. B. C. Okafor, Obi Umudim and Obi J. N. O. Onyekaba, Obi Nnewichi for their comments and suggestions. 

MEMBERS OF THE MARRIAGE! FUNERAL RULES AND REGULATION IN NNEWI  SIGNED:

  1. Enuna L.N.Okonkwo (Chairman) 
  2. Prince Barth Nwosu (Secretary) 
  3. Gozie Oramah (Otolo) 
  4. Chief Isaac Okoli (Otolo) 
  5. Patrick Mbamalu (Otolo) 
  6. Nnanyelugo Edwin Kanu (Uruagu) 
  7. Mr. Edward Ike (Uruagu) 
  8. David Asoh (Uruagu) 
  9. T. C. Onwuka (Umudim) 
  10. Bar. C. A. C. Uzoegwu (Umudim) 
  11. Raphael O. Nwosu (Umudim) 
  12. Francis Mbaebie (Nnewichi) 
  13. S.P. Emma Nwadialor Okeke (Nnewichi) 
  14. R. B. C. Ojukwu (Nnewichi) 
  15. Clement Ojukwu (Nnewichi) 

Endorsed as the guiding rules and regula­tions for Marriage/Funeral Ceremonies in Nnewi. 

Prof. E. U. Obienu Chairman Nzuko-Ora Nnewi  .

Chief Sir O. G. Mbanefo Secretary Nzuko-Ora Nnewi

WRITTEN BY NZUKO ORA NNEWI AND REPRODUCED VERBATIM. 

Signed by

HRH IGWE K. 0. N. ORIZU III IGWE NNEWI