In a move that could discountenance its initial denial of deaths when men of the Nigerian Army opened fire on peace and unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate October 20, the Lagos state government has called for public identification of missing persons between 19th and 27th of October, 2020.
The development is coming 30 days after the Lekki shooting during which many protesters were killed.
Chief coroner of Lagos, Mojisola Dada, announced the move in an advertorial on Thursday.
Dada said the action was in accordance with section 15 of the Coroner’s System Law of Lagos, 2015.
There have been reports of missing persons after the Lekki shooting of October 20, with many saying those missing might have died during the incident.
There were reports also alleging that the military also took away the bodies of those who died.
An investigation by CNN published on Wednesday alleged there were deaths from the Lekki shooting.
The investigation opened a new dimension to the incident whose details the government has tried to obfuscate with denial and half-truths.
The advertorial said the pathology team of the state demands adequate information from the next-of-kin of those who lost loved ones to help in the identification process.
“This is to notify the General Public that the Chief Coroner of Lagos State, Hon Justice M.A Dada (Mrs) pursuant to section 15, Coroner’s System Law of Lagos State, 2015 the Pathology Team would want all those who have lost loved ones between 19 th-27 th October, 2020 (that is, next-of-kin of the victims) to provide relevant information that would assist the identification exercise,” it read.
“The next-of-kin should contact the department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, Lagos State University (LASUTH), Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja for the identification exercise of the Deceased.
“The next-of-kin will be required to provide means of identification of themselves and their loved ones. Nationally am to recognised means of identification such as International passport, Driver’s license, National ID card, or LASSRA ID Card shall be accepted. Only the parents, siblings or children, in that decreasing order of preference are expected to come to LASUTH. The hours of visit will be from 10:00 to 2:00pm for the next two (2) weeks starting from the date of this announcement.”
It said the next-of-kin should come along with “clear photographs of the missing person,” and “their own upper body photographs as well as provide samples for Reference DNA Profile, where necessary”.
It also said the profile received from the next-of-kin will be compared with that from the autopsy of the deceased, and should match before the body will be released by the office of the chief coroner to the relatives for burial.