44-year-old Olumuyiwa Awobajo, and 59-year-old Theodore Okere, have been arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on a two-count charge of allegedly stealing a corpse kept in their custody. According to officers of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Force Headquarters annex, Lagos, the accused persons were arrested following a written complaint by the children of the late Rotimi Alege that the corpse of their father, deposited at the mortuary on 17 May, 2010, which was received by the accused persons at the Military Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, was missing.
They stated that when they went back to the hospital to claim their father’s corpse for burial, the two attendants gave them another corpse which was not their father and that all efforts to locate the corpse in order to give their father a befitting burial have not yielded results for the past two years.
Police investigations revealed that the late Rotimi Alege died in May 2010 and his corpse was first deposited at a hospital mortuary on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, by the family. But after about a week, they reportedly moved the corpse to the Military Hospital, Yaba Lagos, which the two accused persons allegedly received and deposited in their morgue.
According to police reports, the accused persons during interrogation insisted that the corpse the complainants brought to their hospital is the same as the one they presented when they came back.
The deceased’s family however insisted that the accused persons stole their late father’s corpse as it was impossible for them not to recognize their father’s corpse.
The prosecutor, Supol Asuquo stated that the offences leveled against the accused persons contravene sections 409, 378 and 285 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.
While adjourning the case till November 15, presiding magistrate, Mr. A. A. Adefulire granted the two accused persons bail in the sum of N200,000 each with two sureties who must show proof of tax payment to Lagos State government with current statement of six months bank account, after they had pleaded not guilty to the charges. He also added that the defendants be remanded at Ikoyi Prison pending when they will meet their bail conditions.