The Edo State Government has advised owners of the 22 remaining mummified corpses found at an illegal mortuary in Benin City, as well as others at the defunct Asuen Hospital, along First East Circular Road, also in the state capital, to come forward within 21 days to claim them, warning that unclaimed bodies would be given mass burial after the deadline.
In a statement on Wednesday, the state commissioner for health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, called on members of the public who have corpses at these locations to provide the required evidence to claim them.
Akoria said “The general public is hereby notified that the corpses which were found at an illegal mortuary located off Ekehuan Road in Benin City have been scheduled for mass burial. “Similarly, corpses at the former mortuary at the defunct Asuen Hospital, First East Circular Road, Benin City, have been scheduled for mass burial.
“Members of the public who may have corpses at these locations are hereby invited to provide the required evidence to claim such corpse(s) for burial”.
The government gave a moratorium of 21 days from the date of the notice, for the corpses to be duly claimed for burial.
The government had earlier directed all private hospital owners who run mortuaries, owners and operators of stand-alone mortuaries, as well as owners and operators of embalmment homes in the state, to present their registration documents to the ministry of health before close of business on Friday September 30, 2022.
She similarly directed owners, operators of mortuaries, or embalmment homes not duly registered with the ministry of health, to obtain the requirements for registration before close of business on Friday September 9, 2022.
The government insisted that owners, operators of mortuaries and embalmment homes must ensure that every corpse is duly certified as dead by a competent medical officer before being received into a private mortuary, directing that any corpse that has not been so certified should be taken to a government-owned mortuary.