The Lagos State Government (LASG) denied that the purported media publications about the mass burial of #EndSARS victims, claiming that they were Lekki toll gate protesters, were the handy work of mischief makers.
LASG said the 103 bodies are not from the Lekki toll gate memorial ground.
Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, Permanent Secretary, LASG Ministry of Health, said this in a statement on Sunday:
The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to some social media publications about a purported mass burial plan for casualties of the 2020 #EndSARS incident. Peddlers of the news are deliberately misinterpreting and sensationalizing a letter from the Lagos State Government Public Procurement Agency titled Letter of No Objection—Mass Burial for the 103, the Year 2020 ENDSARS victims, to misinform the public, stir public sentiment, and cause public disaffection against the Lagos State Government.
While the Lagos State Government would not have dignified the mischievous elements peddling such news with a response, we consider it appropriate to set the records straight and draw the attention of well-meaning citizens to the antics of some unscrupulous elements who are hell-bent on disrupting the peace and tranquilly of Lagos with distorted news and half-truths about the PPA letter.
It is public knowledge that the 2020 #EndSARS crisis that snowballed into violence in many parts of Lagos recorded casualties in different areas of the State and not at the Lekki toll gate as inferred in the mischievous publications.
For the record, the Lagos State Environmental Health Unit (SEHMU) picked up bodies in the aftermath of #EndSARS violence and community clashes at Fagba, Ketu, Ikorodu, Orile, Ajegunle, Abule-Egba, Ikeja, Ojota, Ekoro, Ogba, Isolo, and Ajah areas of Lagos State, including a jailbreak at Ikoyi Prison. The 103 casualties mentioned in the document were from these incidents and NOT from Lekki Toll-gate as alleged. For the avoidance of doubt, no body was retrieved from the Lekki Toll Gate incident.
In the aftermath of the #EndSARS violence, the office of the Chief Coroner invited members of the public. Throughout public advertisements and announcements, those who had lost loved ones or whose relatives had been declared missing between October 19 and October 27, 2020, from various clashes as mentioned above were urged to contact the department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to help with the identification of these casualties deposited in State-owned mortuaries. Relatives were to undergo DNA tests for identification purposes. It is important to state categorically that nobody responded to claim any of the bodies.
However, after almost three years, the bodies remain unclaimed, adding to the congestion of the mortuaries. This spurred the need to decongest the mortuaries, a procedure that follows very careful medical and legal guidelines in the event that a relative may still turn up to claim a lost relative years after the incident.
Decongestion of our public mortuaries is a periodic and regular exercise approved by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to free up space in mortuaries that have a large number of unclaimed bodies.