A mild- drama played out at the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Wednesday, when the court clerk read out a case between the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ovom, Yenagoa, and 121 unclaimed corpses, Thisday reports.
Lawyers and those in the courtroom were still in shock when Justice Ajiya Nganjiwa sought to douse the jolted occupants of the courtroom. The attorney representing FMC, Bayelsa, Mr. K. Clement, then prayed the court to grant his 14-paragraph application requesting that the hospital should be given the go-ahead to give the unclaimed corpses a mass burial.
After listening to the argument backing the application, the judge said it was time to allow the dead rest in peace, thus granted the request that all the 121 unclaimed dead bodies be buried. “The application is hereby granted for all the 121 abandoned corpses to be buried. All agencies and bodies involved must comply with this order,” he said.
It was gathered that many of the bodies had been abandoned for over 10 years, thereby blocking space for fresh corpses. The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of FMC, Yenagoa, Dr. Dennis Allagoa, had earlier explained that the decision, among others, was taken to create space in the mortuary as fresh corpses were being brought in on a daily basis.
He also cited pollution of the health facility as reason for the decision to evacuate the cadavers in the next three weeks. He said:
“We issued a 21-day public notice because we noticed that corpses have littered the entire mortuary and there was no space to take in new corpses. As the decay goes on in the mortuary, the corpses have become a threat to human life because chemical and biochemical effects are on-going.
“So we want to clean up the area so that people can enjoy the benefit of a good site and space to bring in their corpses.”
He added that most of the unclaimed dead bodies were deposited by security personnel while others were found on the roads and creeks and brought to the morgue.