The Chief Coroner of Lagos State has issued a call for members of the public to come and identify bodies that arrived at the morgue between October 19 to October 27.
This comes despite claims from official quarters that no protester was killed during the peaceful protest. The Nigerian Army also insisted that nobody was killed at the Lekki Toll Gate despite video evidence and bereaved family members’ testimonies.
Meanwhile, the press release from the office of the Chief Coroner asked “those who have lost loved ones between 19th – 27th October 2020” to contact the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
The statement asked those relatives to come for the “identification exercise of the deceased.” It also asked next of kin to come with proof of identification of themselves and the missing persons.
Recall that he Lekki tollgate shooting happened on October 20, 2020. Since then, the number of missing persons posts on Twitter have increased with people saying they haven’t seen their loved ones since the day of the Lekki shootings.
”This 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, Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja, for the identification exercise of the deceased.
“The next-of-kin will be required to provide means of identification of themselves and their loved ones. Nationally recognised means of identification such as international passport, driver license, National ID or LASSRA ID shall be accepted.
“Only the parents, siblings or children, in that decreasing order of preference are expected to come to LASUTH. The hours of visit shall be from 10:00am to 2:00pm for the next two weeks starting from the date of this announcement.
“Please note that these next-of-kin shall be required to come with the following: clear photographs of the missing person; their own upper body photographs; and also provide samples for reference DNA profile, where necessary.
“This profile will be compared with those already collected at autopsy from the deceased. It is only after a definitive scientific identification that the bodies of the deceased shall be released by the Office of the Chief Coroner to the next-of-kin for burial,”
the notice read.
With the Coroner’s announcement, Twitter users have begun asking the government for answers.
“There was no #LekkiMassacre, right?! #EndSARS,” Human rights activist, Chidi Odinkalu asked while sharing the coroner’s press release.
Twitter activist, Ayobami Ayobami reacted to the press release, tweeting: “Friendly reminder that @jidesanwoolu lied that he visited ALL the morgues that night and didn’t find bodies.”