A mild drama ensued at Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, as mortuary attendants gave bereaved family members, friends and colleagues of slain student activist, late Nurudeen Alowonle the wrong corpse.
Late Alowonle, aka Omomeewa was murdered in cold blood by unknown gunmen at the gate of Lagos State University, LASU, on his way to catch a cab.
The deceased finished from LASU in 2020 but his certificate was on hold as he was facing disciplinary panel on whose invitation he was in the institution on the fateful day.
His killing has been trailed with controversy with some commentators blaming the university authorities for it while the police declared that he was a victim of armed robbery attack.
The slain activist’s remains was equally a subject of controversy, according to Hassan Taiwo, the Nation al Coordinator of Education Rights Campaign (ERC), of (ERC), a civil society organisation the deceased was part of.
Taiwo gave a lowdown of what transpired at the mortuary in a statement he released.
It read in part: “I got to the morgue of Mainland Hospital Yaba in the morning of Friday, August 20. I met Nurudeen Yusuf in the presence of some doctors and other well-wishers. We were shown what was said to be the remains of Alowonle. It was nothing more than a mass of entrails which was highly decomposed and put together in a body bag.
“He(Yusuf) said a mortuary attendants said those who brought the body, the Lagos State Environ-= mental Agency, claimed vehicles had ran over the body between 10pm on Wednesday night when he died and 5am on Thursday morning when it was brought to the morgue.
“Upon seeing the state of the body, we had to protest that there was no means to identify the entrails as a human entrails, let alone a human body. We said there was no way we could present this to the family as the body of their son. Our protest, including the assistance of sympathetic student doctors who studied in LASU and the HOD Pathology, eventually led to the revelation by the mortuary attendant that they made a mistake and presented to us a wrong body.’’
Continued: “The mortuary attendants brought another body which was that of Alowonle but it was discovered that the body had a hole by the side just under the rib cage on the left hand side of the chest. Tension began to build up and following discussion, it was agreed that an autopsy be conducted but the ongoing doctors strike made it impossible.
“A directive came from the Chief Pathologist of Lagos State, Prof John Obafunwa, that the body should not be released until an autopsy is conducted.
“However, a counter request came from the Divisional Police Office who had said the deceased was not shot but stabbed that the family must swear an affidavit that they would not demand an autopsy as a precondition for the release of the body.
“Of course, this request raised suspicion as to the motive of the police. It appeared to us that the police just wanted the body to be buried so that the truth of what happened can be buried with it.”