The Lagos State Government has announced that the scheduled mass burial of the 103 bodies retrieved in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest in October 2020 has been suspended.
Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, informed reporters on Monday that the planned mass burial had been postponed due to the uproar created by the announcement in July.
The state government stated in a leaked memo dated July 19, 2023, that the 103 corpses would be mass buried.
This has caused consternation among human rights activists and civil society organizations.
Amnesty International has also demanded the government “conduct transparent coroner inquests and autopsies on the 103 #EndSARS victims” in addition to the suspension demand.
Mr. Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, assured the press exclusively that the administration would “conform to global best practices” in carrying out the mass burial.
On Monday, when asked for an update on the situation, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy stated that the planned mass burial “remains suspended to give people ample time to identify their relatives that may be among the corpses.”
“It is to allow more time for identification, as suggested when it was disclosed that the government was planning a mass burial for them,” Omotoso said.
He also added that “up till now, nobody has shown up to identify any of the corpses. But the government has decided to give people more time.”
Furthermore, he stated that the planned burial would “be carried out soon, but because of the controversies around that time, it was suspended. People now have the time and ample opportunity to see if their relatives are there.”