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February 21, 2024
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#EndSARS: Lagos Govt dismisses allegations on mass burial of Lekki Tollgate victims

The Lagos State Government has dismissed allegations that it held mass burial for 103 victims of Lekki Tollgate #EndSARS protest.

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr Olusegun Ogboye, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health in Lagos on Sunday.

Ogbonge said that peddlers of the news were deliberately misinterpreting and sensationalising a letter from the Lagos State Government Public Procurement Agency (PPA), to misinform the public, stir public sentiment and cause public disaffection against the Lagos State Government.

He said that the title of letter was: Letter of No Objection – Mass Burial for the 103, the Year 2020 EndSARS victims.

According to him, while the government will not have dignified the mischievous elements peddling such news with a response, it consider it appropriate to set the records straight.

He said that there was the need to draw the attention of well-meaning citizens to the antics of some unscrupulous elements who are hell bent on disrupting the peace and tranquility of Lagos with distorted news and half-truth about the PPA letter.

”It is public knowledge that the year 2020 #EndSARS crisis that snowballed into violence in many parts of Lagos recorded casualties in different areas of the state and NOT from the Lekki Toll Gate, as being inferred in the mischievous publications.

”For the records, 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 being 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, through public adverts and announcement, who had lost loved ones or whose relatives had been declared missing between Oct. 19 and Oct. 27, 2020 from various clashes as mentioned above, to contact the department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to help with identification of these casualties deposited in state-owned morgues.

”Relatives are 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 remained unclaimed, adding to the congestion of the morgues.

”This spurred the need to decongest the morgues – 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,” Ogboye said.

He said that decongestion of the public morgues was a periodic and regular exercise approved by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, to free up space in mortuaries that have a large number of unclaimed bodies. (NAN)

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Mustapha Salisu

Mustapha Salisu is a graduate of BSc. Information and Media Studies from Bayero University Kano, with experience in Communication Skills as well as Public Relations.

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