Lagos Govt reveals 103 casualties of #EndSARS that it plans to conduct mass burial for are not victims of Lekki toll gate shooting

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The Lagos State Government claims that the 103 #EndSARS victims for whom a mass burial is planned are not victims of the Lekki toll gate shooting.

The casualties are from throughout the state, according to a statement published on Sunday by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye.

It was previously revealed that a letter from the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency confirmed the state government’s decision to conduct a mass burial for 103 #EndSARS victims nearly three years after their deaths.

The document, headed “Letter Of No Objection,” was dated July 19, 2023. Mass Burial For The 103. The Year 2020 EndSARS Victims’ was addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and signed by Mr. Onafowote Fatai Idowu, Director General of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency.

The details of the fatalities that happened during the 2020 #EndSARS protests in Lagos have been a source of contention, particularly the October 20, 2020, incident at the Lekki toll gate, where military and police murdered an undisclosed number of nonviolent protestors.

Meanwhile, the letter certifies the award of a contract to TOS Funerals Limited for the mass burial of the 103 victims of the #EndSARS demonstrations for N61,285,000.00 (Sixty-One Million, Two Hundred and Eighty-Five Thousand Naira). However, the letter did not specify how many people were slain in Lekki or elsewhere in the state.

Meanwhile, Ogboye stated in the statement, “The 103 casualties mentioned in the document were from these incidents and NOT from the alleged Lekki Toll-gate.” To be clear, no body was recovered from the Lekki Toll Gate event.”

The statement further read, “The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to some social media publications about a purported mass burial plan for casualties of the 2020 #EndSARS incident.

“Peddlers of the news are deliberately misinterpreting and sensationalizing a letter from the Lagos State Government Public Procurement Agency titled: Letter of No Objection – Mass Burial for the 103, the Year 2020 ENDSARS victims, to misinform the public, stir public sentiment and cause public disaffection against the Lagos State Government

“While the Lagos State Government would not have dignified the mischievous elements peddling such news with a response, we consider it appropriate to set the records straight and 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.”

Ogboye continued, “In the aftermath of the #EndSARS violence, the office of the Chief Coroner invited members of the public through public adverts and announcements who had lost loved ones or whose relatives had been declared missing between 19th and 27th October 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

“DNA tests were to be performed on relatives for identification purposes.” It is critical to emphasize unequivocally that no one responded to the claim of any of the bodies.

“However, the bodies remain unclaimed after nearly three years, adding to the morgue’s congestion.” This prompted the need to decongest the morgues, a method that adheres to strict medical and legal requirements in the event that a relative returns years later to claim a lost relative.

“Decongestion of our public morgues is a regular and periodic exercise approved by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to free up space in mortuaries that have a large number of unclaimed bodies.”