The Lagos State Government has said that the invitation to the public by the state Chief Coroner, Mrs Mojisola Dada for identification of corpses was meant for victims of hoodlums and cult clashes in the state, saying it has nothing to do with the Lekki shooting of October 20, 2020.
Recently, the state Chief Coroner in a public announcement, called on relatives of people who lost their lives between October 19th and 27 to visit the Lagos State Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to identify and claim bodies of their loved ones.
The date stated in the announcement coincided with the week soldiers shot at #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate.
Many reportedly died during the two-week long agitation for an end to police brutality.
But the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotoso, has said there is no connection between the announcement and the Lekki incident.
Omotoso said the announcement was meant for victims of hoodlums and cultists’ killings in Lagos.
He said, “On the announcement by the Chief Coroner that people should come and identify their dead relatives is a routine matter; it has nothing to do with what happened in Lekki.
"There is a law that you cannot bury anybody without a coroner’s inquest. You agree that even before Lekki, people were already being killed. Cultists were on the rampage in Ikorodu, Surulere, on Ikorodu Road and so many other places in Lagos. Also, policemen were being killed.
“There was anarchy. So the bodies that were picked up at the scene of all of these killings and fighting are the ones that the coroner is asking Lagos residents to come and identify. If it is Lekki that they say the government is trying to cover up, there is no way the government would now go out to newspapers to ask people to come and look at dead bodies,” he told Punch.
Meanwhile, the management of Mainland Hospital in Lagos says it received a clear directive from the state Ministry of Health not to release bodies of people who died during #EndSARS protests.
According to Punch, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Abimbola Bowale, 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.”
A front desk staff of the hospital also disclosed to the newspaper that the hospital’s dieners (morgue attendants) have been instructed to release bodies of only those who died before and after the #EndSARS protests.