Ondo buries 496 unclaimed corpses in mass grave
The government of Ondo State has buried 496 corpses, lying unclaimed at its health centres, in a mass grave.
The government said it was part of efforts to decongest the morgues at the Akure and Ondo complexes of the State University of Medical Science Teaching Hospital (UNIMEDTH).
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Francis Faduyile, told journalists in Akure on Tuesday that the move was a follow-up to an assessment tour of morgues in the two hospitals.
Mr Faduyile noted that he and other government officials had recently embarked on an assessment tour of the morgues in the two health facilities and observed with dismay their gory state, having been jam-packed with unclaimed bodies spanning a year and above.
He said the development prompted him to put up a strong memo to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on the urgent need to decongest and rehabilitate the morgues, which had literally turned into an eye-sore.
Mr Faduyile said Mr Akeredolu had instantly approved the memo to carry out the mass burial to avoid an imminent outbreak of the disease in the state.
He said in carrying out the exercise, his office followed due process.
The procedures, he said, included obtaining a mass burial permit from the Chief Magistrate of the Magistrate Court of Justice, Oke-Eda, Akure; securing a parcel of land at Odigbo Local Government, from the State Ministry of Lands and Housing for the mass burial; advertising the mass burial on the print and electronic media; giving 21 days to reclaim the unclaimed bodies, in compliance with the extant laws of the land.
Mr Faduyile further said there was auditing of the unclaimed bodies in the morgues of Akure and Ondo UNIMEDTH complexes for record purposes and the certification of the unclaimed bodies to ascertain their individual causes of death.
“In all, eighty-seven (87) bodies were identified/known with their name tags while four hundred and nine (409) were unknown and a total of four hundred and ninety-six (496) bodies underwent mass burial,” he said.
“The 21-day ultimatum as publicised on prints and electronic media commenced on the 1st of August and lapsed on the 21st of August, 2022. Thereafter, preparations for the mass burial commenced.
“On Friday, September 2nd, 2022, the mass burial was carried out, with the protection of security operatives and a handful of pressmen. The bodies were buried in a deep grave of 10 by 10 feet wide, and 18 feet depth, at the allocated land by the State government”.
Over 100 unclaimed corpses were given a mass burial by the state government in 2020 after notices were given in the media.
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