The Lagos State Government has suspended its planned mass burial of the 103 corpses recovered after the October 20, 2020 #EndSARS protest.
According to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, the planned mass burial was suspended following the controversy generated by the announcement in July.
The state government, in a leaked memo dated July 19, 2023, had said it would conduct a mass burial for the 103 corpses.
This caused an uproar among human rights campaigners and civil society organisations such as Amnesty International, and a group under the aegis of the Coalition of #EndSARS Protesters and Supporters.
They demanded that the state government should suspend the planned mass burial and that the state government should “also carry out transparent coroner inquest and autopsies on the 103 #EndSARS victims.”
In its reaction, the state government through the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Gboyega Akosile, noted that the government would “conform to global best practices” in carrying out the mass burial.
When asked for an update on the matter on Monday, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy said the planned mass burial “remains suspended to give people ample time to identify their relatives that may be among the corpses.”
“It is to allow more time for identification as suggested when it was disclosed that the government was planning a mass burial for them,” Omotoso said.
He stated further that “up till now, nobody has shown up to identify any of the corpses. But the government has decided to give people more time.”
He added that the planned burial would “be carried out soon, but because of the controversies around that time, it was suspended. People now have the time and ample opportunity to see if their relatives are there.”