The Lagos State Government at the weekend clarified that its Chief Coroner’s invitation to the public to come for the identification of the corpses of missing persons between October 19 and 27, 2020, has to do with victims of cultists and hoodlums’ killings, and not with the Lekki tollgate incident.
The state government noted that there is no connection between the announcement and the Lekki tollgate, where some protesters were feared killed or missing.
The state Chief Coroner, Justice M. A. Dada, had on Wednesday, called for the identification of missing persons between October 19 and 27, 2020 – the same period when youths embarked on a nationwide #EndSARS protest which led to violence, arson and killings.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said in an interview on Friday, that the identification of bodies was meant for victims of cultists and hoodlums’ killings, and not of the Lekki tollgate which had attracted both local and global outrage.
He said, “On the announcement by the Chief Coroner that people should come and identify their dead relatives is a routine matter; it has nothing to do with what happened in Lekki. There is a law that you cannot bury anybody without a coroner’s inquest. You agree that even before Lekki, people were already being killed. Cultists were on the rampage in Ikorodu, Surulere, on Ikorodu Road and so many other places in Lagos. Also, policemen were being killed.
“There was anarchy. So the bodies that were picked up at the scene of all of these killings and fighting are the ones that the coroner is asking Lagos residents to come and identify. If it is Lekki that they say the government is trying to cover up, there is no way the government would now go out to newspapers to ask people to come and look at dead bodies.”