EHIME (TR) – Ehime Prefectural Police have arrested a 45-year-old male Nigerian national who is under investigation over the destruction of hundreds of tombstones and religious statues in Ehime and Osaka prefectures, reports Sankei Sports (Aug. 2).
Thus far, police have accused Abraham Emanuel Uba, a resident of Hannan City, Osaka Prefecture, of pushing over one Buddhist statue — valued at around 80,000 yen — at a temple in Saijo City, Ehime at around 5:00 a.m. on July 15.
Police did not divulge whether Uba, who has been accused of inflicting property damage, admits to the allegations. The matter emerged after the priest of the temple consulted with police on the day the damage was discovered.
Police are also investigating whether Uba was behind a similar incident at a temple in Matsushima City, Ehime.
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On July 21, about 300 gravestones, some measuring 1.7 meters in height, were found to have been smashed in one location in the Tottori Cemetery in Hannan, Osaka. Also destroyed were six stone Jizo statues, which, according to Buddhist teachings, serve as protectors of children and unborn babies.
On the same day, similar damage was observed at several gravestones at the Jinen Cemetery, located about two kilometers away.
Law enforcement is now investigating whether Uba was behind both incidents in Osaka.