*Police Acting Suspicious
It was a moment of macabre drama at the Mainland Hospital morgue on Friday when co-activists, friends and family members of murdered Lagos State University, LASU, student activist, Nurudeen Alowonle, came for his corpse. However, while waiting to pick his body for burial, mortuary attendants brought a different corpse.
National Coordinator of, ERC, Hassan Taiwo, explained that rather than Alowonle, the hospital’s mortuary attendants brought another body which was obviously not that of the late student activist. The reason, according to him, resulted to the delay in his burial earlier scheduled for Friday.
“I got to the morgue of Mainland Hospital Yaba in the morning of Friday, August 20th. I met Nurudeen Yusuf in the presence of some doctors and other well wishers. We were shown what was said to be the remains of Alowonle. It was nothing more than a mass of entrails which was highly decomposed and put together in a body bag,” Yusuf said.
The mortuary attendants, Yusuf said, explained that those who brought the body-the Lagos State Environmental Agency, claimed vehicles ran over the body from from 10pm Wednesday night till 5am Thursday morning when the remains were brought to the hospital facility.
The discovery, Yusuf noted, led to an impromptu protest during which some sympathetic doctors, including the hospital’s head of pathology, intervened before the attendants revealed they made a mistake and eventually brought out Alowonle’s body.
”Upon seeing the state of the alleged body, we had to protest that there was no means to identify the entrail as a human entrail let alone a human body. We said there was no way we could present this to the family as the ‘body’ of their son. Our protest including the assistance of sympathetic student doctors who studied in LASU and the HOD Pathology, eventually led to the revelation by the mortuary attendant that they made a mistake and presented to us a wrong body.”
Yet, more controversies dogged each step leading to Alowonle’s burial. In the main, the police is accused of acting in manners that appear very suspicious and curious. According to sources, though a police patrol team was within a shouting distance of where he was reportedly shot dead, the team failed to respond for whatever reason.
The Police is also being accused of trying to change the narrative about how the student activist was killed. Whereas eye witnesses, including the injured university staff, Wahab Majekodunmi, who was with the late Alowonle, say he died following gunshot injuries, the police insist he was stabbed to death. The police version also runs counter to the position of mortuary attendants who prepared his body. They attendants claim the wound on his body is consistent with that of bullet wound.
Yet, the police is accused of brow beating the late activist’s family into deposing an affidavit to the effect that they won’t demand an autopsy.
”The last straw that would break the camels back was the request of the DPO that the family must swear an affidavit that they would not demand an autopsy as a precondition for release of the body. Of course, this request raised suspicion as to the motive of the police. It appeared to us that the police just wanted the body to be buried so that the truth of what happened can be buried with it, ” he stated.
Though the late student activist has been buried without an autopsy, ostensibly along with certain facts that are still unknown, there is the very important need to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his murder.