Mainland Hospital: We Are Not Allowed To Release Bodies Of #ENDSARS Protesters

The administrators of the Mainland Hospital in Lagos, have revealed that they received a directive from the Lagos state Ministry of Health to hold on to corpses people shot and killed by security forces during the peaceful #ENDSARS in October.

Some journalists visited the Mainland Hospital after the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Mrs. Mojisola Dada, made a public announcement, asking relatives who could not locate family members between October 19th and 27th to visit the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital so as to be able to identify and claim bodies of people who could be their loved ones.

The #ENDSARS protests which rocked Nigeria took place between the 7th and 20th of October all peacefully before the security forces started killing its own citizens which led to a degeneration. Even in the mist of peaceful protests, there were pockets of killings carried out by security forces and state sponsored hoodlums.

During the period of protests news was rife of relations, friends and associates searching for missing persons with some confirming the killing of their relations, and other people held incommunicado by security agents.

The major incident which is fast becoming an international embarrassment to the Nigerian authorities was the state-backed mutiny of citizens by the army at the Lekki toll on Tuesday, October 20. On the evening of the 20th of October, soldiers shot point blank at peaceful protestors who were holding the Nigerian flag – in any sane society, the sight of the national emblem would be a deterrent for security forces.

Subsequently, the shooting incident has drawn global condemnation with members of the Nigerian political elite risking sanctions.

The statement released by the Lagos State corona reads in part, “This is to notify the General Public that the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Hon Justice M. A. Dada (Mrs.) pursuant to Section 15, Coroner’s System Law of Lagos State, 2015 the Pathology Team would want all those who have lost loved ones between 19th – 27th October 2020 (that is, next-of-kin of the victims) to provide relevant information that would assist the identification exercise.

“The next-of kin should kindly contact the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja for the identification exercise of the Deceased.”

When some journalists visited the Mainland Hospital mortuary in Yaba, Lagos, on Friday the 21st of November, 2020, the front desk staff disclosed that they had been clearly instructed by the state government for dieners [morgue attendants] to release only the bodies of those who died before and after the #ENDSARS protests.

This got the journalist curious causing them to seek the opinion of the hospital’s Medical Director, Dr. Abimbola Bowale, and he said the same thing that the mortuary attendant had said.

“It is only the commissioner (of health) or even Mr. Governor that can release the body to you, Sir. So, you will have to contact him,” he said.

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Irumole Togbono

Irumole enjoys writing, music, swimming and dancing. She is a sucker for information and also loves food :)

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