The Lagos State Government has responded to a leaked memo revealing its approval of N61,285,000 for the mass burial of 103 persons identified as 2020 #EndSARS victims, maintaining that the victims to be buried are not from the controversial Lekki Tollgate shooting.
The memo, dated July 19, 2023, capturing steps for the processing of funds after approval by the governor, surfaced on social media Sunday morning, sparking outrage.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, confirmed the letter in a statement on Sunday evening, but insisted that details were being misconstrued.
The government official argued that the victims were from incidents of violence that occurred in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.
Ogboye said the Lagos State Environmental Health Unit (SEHMU) picked up bodies in the aftermath of #EndSARS violence and community clashes.
The areas cited included Fagba, Ketu, Ikorodu, Orile, Ajegunle, Abule-Egba, Ikeja, Ojota, Ekoro, Ogba, Isolo and Ajah areas of Lagos State. Ogboye added that there was also a jailbreak at Ikoyi Prison.
“The 103 casualties mentioned in the document were from these incidents and NOT from Lekki Toll-gate as being alleged. For the avoidance of doubt, no body was retrieved from the Lekki Toll Gate incident,” the statement read.
“Contrary to disingenuous narrative weaved around the recently approved mass burial , the #EndSARs Panel subpoenaed the Lagos State chief pathologist to produce full records of unclaimed bodies of dead deposited with state central morgue during the days immediately preceding and following the event at Lekki tollgate on 20/10/20.
“The list with their autopsies of provable cause and circumstances of death were duly submitted and testified to before the panel . This subpoena was at the request of lawyers who represented #EndSARS protesters and the chief pathologist complied. There was not a single finding in the report or ensuing white paper attributing the death of any named citizen listed in the autopsy to the Lekki incident.”