Lekki Toll Gate: Lagos coroner asks families to visit mortuaries to identify missing relatives

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Lagos chief coroner has asked citizens to come and identified their dead relatives, especially those that went missing or presumed dead between Oct 19 and 27 of October.

In a public notice published in newspaper Nov 19, the state government asks relatives to come with proof of identification.

The announcement came after barrages of reports, including from CNN claiming soldiers opened fire on ENDSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate on October 20.

So far it was only the CNN reports that confirmed the death of two people around the scene.

But there wear witnesses who claimed at least a dozen dead body were taken away by the soldiers.

Gov Babajide Sanwo-Ou claimed the government combed all hospital and mortuaries in the area to identify the dead and wounded victims on the following day. Only two dead were identified and more than 20 people with wounds.

The Thursday notice is inviting relatives to come and identify those suspected dead.

“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.