The Wuse General Hospital on Monday organised a mass burial for 68 dead bodies whose relatives failed to turn up to identify and claim.
NigeriaCrime.com learned the corpses are victims of car and motorcycle accidents in various parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were brought into the hospital at various times by the police and the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC.
Some of the victims who were brought into the hospital in critical condition later died in the health facility of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, without the knowledge of their families.
A source in the hospital who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealed that the mass burial was secretly accorded the bodies after their relatives failed to turn up to claim them.
The source, however, said some victims’ relatives didn’t know that their missing ones were dead and their bodies in the hospital’s morgue.
“Some families declare their relatives missing but fail to check in hospitals around them if anything could have happened to them that they were brought into the facilities.”
“It is the responsibility of the agencies that brought accident victims or dead bodies arising from accidents into health facilities to inform their families of what happened,” the hospital source added.
The mass burial, NigeriaCrime.com learned was held late last year.
When contacted to confirm the development, Mrs Hanatu Sani, the hospital’s secretary, said she had no authorisation to issue any information regarding the issue.
“I only speak on issues I am authorised to speak on. I don’t have the mandate to speak on issues like this. Maybe, you should approach the higher authority on this,” she said, refusing to speak further.
It will be recalled that Mrs Sani had sometimes, in 2021, said there were many unclaimed dead bodies in the hospital’s morgue, saying the medical centre does not release bodies brought by the police to their families or relatives without authorisation from the police.
This, she explained, was to avoid trouble ‘’because you may release a dead body to relatives and another set of relatives would come up saying the one with the body is a faction.”
She had said: “If the police did not come, there was nothing we could have done. We have a lot of unclaimed corpses here in the morgue. Most of them are victims of these hit-and-run drivers.
“The law says after three months we can bury unclaimed bodies but here, we keep them even up to two years. It’s when after that and we don’t see the relatives that we write to the commissioner of police, the judge and other relevant authorities to bury them.
“The challenge we had, in this case, was the policeman that refused to come back after he brought the body. The mortician said he called him the very next day after he found the deceased’s particulars but he refused to come. He was calling him to come and check and see how he can contact the relatives but the policeman never showed up.”.