By Gabriel Dike
Controversy has continued to trail the kill- ing of a student of Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Nurudeen Alowonle, as mortuary attendants at Mainland Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, produced a wrong body for the family, activists and friends who had gathered to pick his remains for burial.
Alowonle, Faculty of Education student, was shot death on Wednesday night after the Iba gate
of the university while a staff of the institution with him was injured.
He was a student activist, Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Lagos State chapter, member of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and former presidential candidate in the students union elections of 2019.
In a statement, Nation- al Coordinator of (ERC), Hassan Taiwo, said the late Alowonle was scheduled for burial last Friday but the interment could not hold.
‘’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 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 en- trails 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.’’
He said 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. He said tension began to build
up and following discus- sion, it was agreed that an autopsy be conducted but the ongoing doctors strike made it impossible.
He said a directive, however, came from the Chief Pathologist of Lagos State, Prof John Obafunwa, that the body should not be released until an autopsy is conducted.
He, however, said 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,” he alleged.
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