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Lagos State Suspends Planned Mass Burial of #EndSARS Victims

Burial for EndSARS victims suspended to give people time to identify their relatives among the corpses.

The Lagos State Government has decided to suspend the previously planned mass burial of the 103 corpses recovered following the October 2020 #EndSARS protest.

This decision was confirmed by Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, in an exclusive statement to The PUNCH on Monday, October 9, 2023.

The suspension comes in response to the controversy that arose after the government's announcement in July, which revealed an approved budget of N61,285,000 for the mass burial.

This revelation, detailed in a leaked memo dated July 19, 2023, titled "Letter of No Objection - Mass Burial for the 103, the year 2020 EndSars Victims," stirred outrage on social media, drawing criticism from Nigerians, human rights organizations like Amnesty International, and the Coalition of #EndSARS Protesters and Supporters. Amnesty International and the aforementioned group demanded the suspension of the mass burial and called for transparent coroner inquests and autopsies to be conducted on the 103 #EndSARS victims.

Responding to these concerns, the Lagos State government, through Mr. Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, pledged to adhere to global best practices in carrying out the mass burial. When asked for an update on the matter, Commissioner Omotoso explained that the planned mass burial remains suspended to provide ample time for people to identify their relatives among the corpses.

He emphasized that no one has come forward to identify any of the bodies yet, but the government has chosen to extend the suspension to allow individuals the opportunity to search for their loved ones.

Omotoso assured that the burial would eventually take place but acknowledged that it had been postponed due to the controversies surrounding the initial announcement.



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