Lekki shooting: Lagos asks families to claim bodies of missing persons

As the Nigerian military continues to deny killing any protester at the Lekki Toll Plaza, the Lagos State Government has called on residents to come claim the bodies of missing persons.

These persons went missing between October 19 and 27, a government notice said.

The Lekki tollgate shooting occured on October 20 and was followed by days of violence that reportedly included extra-judicial killings by Nigerian security agencies.

The Babajide Sanwo-Olu government, which has been caught lying about the involvement of the Nigerian Army in the Lekki shooting, now wants families of missing persons to claim dead bodies. The government notice is fuelling concerns that some of the unidentified bodies may belong to those killed by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate.

The government put out the following notice in a local newspaper:

The timing of the notice is fuelling apprehensions that some of these missing persons were killed at the Lekki tollgate.

“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.”

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