The Edo state government has scheduled a mass burial for the 23 mummified bodies found at an illegal mortuary in Benin.
Recall that the Edo state police had on August17th, announced that it had uncovered a suspected shrine along Asoro Slope, off Ekenhuan Road, in Uzebu quarters, Benin.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria announced the scheduled mass burial in Benin.
Akoria stated that corpses also found at the mortuary of the defunct Asuen Hospital, on First East Circular Road, Benin, would also be given mass burial.
She called on members of the public who had corpses at these locations to provide the required evidence to claim such corpse(s) before the mass burial.
“Edo government is hereby giving a moratorium of 21 days beginning from the date of publication of this announcement for the corpses to be duly claimed for burial,’’ she stated.
The state government had earlier directed private mortuary owners and operators of embalmment homes to present their registration documents to the Ministry of Health before close of business on Friday Sept. 30, 2022.
It advised unregistered owners of such facilities to obtain requirements for registration from the Ministry of Health before close of business on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.
“Owners and operators of mortuaries and embalmment homes are further informed that every corpse must be duly certified as dead by a competent medical officer before being received into a private mortuary.
“Any corpse that has not been so certified should be taken to a government-owned mortuary,’’ the commissioner stated.
On August 17, police in Edo said the operator of the mortuary where the mummified corpses were found did not have a licence to operate the facility.
The police also declared that the principal suspect in the case identified as Gabriel Otu did not acquire any formal training to manage a mortuary, or to practice as a mortician.
Otu had worked as an attendant in different mortuaries, however, the police added.
Among the 23 bodies found was one without a skull; police also found effigies at the scene. (NAN)