The Lagos State Government says it has suspended its planned mass burial of the 103 corpses recovered in the wake of the October 2020 #EndSARS protest.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, told our correspondent on Monday that the planned mass burial had been suspended, following the controversy generated by the announcement in July.
In a leaked memo dated July 19, 2023, the state government had said it would conduct a mass burial for the 103 corpses, The PUNCH reports.
This had raised dust among human rights campaigners and civil society organisations.
A human rights organisation, Amnesty International, and a group under the aegis of the Coalition of #EndSARS Protesters and Supporters had demanded that the state government should suspend the planned mass burial.
In addition to the suspension demand, Amnesty International had asked the government to “also carry out transparent coroner inquest and autopsies on the 103 #EndSARS victims.”
In its reaction, the state government through the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Mr Gboyega Akosile, exclusively told The PUNCH that the government would “conform to global best practices” in carrying out the mass burial.
When asked for an update on the matter on Monday, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy said the planned mass burial “remains suspended to give people ample time to identify their relatives that may be among the corpses.”
“It is to allow more time for identification as suggested when it was disclosed that the government was planning a mass burial for them,” Omotoso said.
He stated further that “up till now, nobody has shown up to identify any of the corpses. But the government has decided to give people more time.”
He added that the planned burial would “be carried out soon, but because of the controversies around that time, it was suspended. People now have the time and ample opportunity to see if their relatives are there.