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In a shocking revelation, a leaked memo addressed to the Lagos State Ministry of Health has brought to light that the State Government approved N61,285,000 for the mass burial of 103 individuals identified as victims of the 2020 EndSARS protests. The memo, dated July 19, 2023, outlines the steps for processing the funds after receiving approval from the governor.

Earlier, a Ministerial Tenders’ Board Meeting reportedly reviewed the recommendations of the Procurement Planning Committee, and surprisingly, no objections were raised to the award of the mass burial contract to a funeral service provider. The five-paragraph leaked memo also explicitly instructs that the approved company remit relevant taxes and deductions.

In response to the uproar caused by the leaked memo, the Lagos State Ministry of Health confirmed the authenticity of the letter in a statement released on Sunday evening, though they stressed that certain details were being misconstrued.

The state government vehemently argued that the victims were casualties of violence that ensued in the aftermath of the EndSARS protests.

The number of deaths during the EndSARS protest has been a subject of controversy, leading the governor to initiate an inquest headed by Justice Doris Okuwobi.

Ever since the protests in 2020, both the Lagos Government and the Federal Government have consistently denied any allegations of mass killings during the EndSARS protests.

Remarkably, this memo has surfaced over two years after the nationwide protests, yet the Lagos Government has remained silent on the matter.

The EndSARS demonstrations witnessed thousands of Nigerians taking to the streets across the country to protest police brutality and demand extensive reforms, particularly concerning the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police force. The weeks-long protests gained international attention and tragically culminated in the controversial shooting of protesters at the renowned Lekki Tollgate in Lagos, which was a significant rallying point for those who participated in the demonstrations.

However, countering the allegations, the Lagos State Government asserted that the victims to be buried were not from the Lekki Tollgate shooting.

According to Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, the Lagos State Environmental Health Unit (SEHMU) retrieved bodies in the aftermath of the #EndSARS violence and community clashes that occurred in various areas of Lagos State, including Fagba, Ketu, Ikorodu, Orile, Ajegunle, Abule-Egba, Ikeja, Ojota, Ekoro, Ogba, Isolo, and Ajah. Dr. Ogboye clarified, “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,” as stated in the official statement.

The leaked memo has brought attention back to the tragic events during the EndSARS protests and raised significant concerns among the public.

See a copy of the leaked memo below.

By Editor

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