- LG officials demanded N50,000 to evacuate – Residents
- N50, 000 evacuation demand not true – LG
A decomposing corpse still lying at Gasline bus-stop, along Sango-Ijoko road in Sango-Ota area of Ogun State has generated controversy over its evacuation, days after it started smelling.
This is even as shop owners whose businesses are directly exposed to the decomposing corpse have accused officials of the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government of demanding N50,000 to evacuate the corpse, the local government has however labelled such claims untrue.
When Tribune Online passed through Gasline bus-stop on Wednesday, the decomposing corpse, terribly oozing out a foul stench was still lying on the road.
According to some of the shop owners, the corpse has been lying on the ground for almost five days. “We all came to the shop last week Friday to see a deranged man lying in the mud. He was not dead then. Nobody knew where he had come from or who brought him there over night of Thursday to Friday morning.
“While he was still moving right there in the dirty mud, we notified the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government, but they asked us to bring N50, 000 before they can come and evacuate the deranged man.
“However on Monday morning, when we came to the shop, we noticed he was already dead. The surprising thing was that he already smelt. Many of us couldn’t stay in our shops due to the stench as at Wednesday morning.
“We sent words to the local government again for assistance but we are yet to see them. We don’t have N50,000 and the stench is affecting our businesses,” some of the shop owners lamented.
When contacted, the Director of Information of the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government, Mr Oyeniyi, told Tribune Online exclusively that no official of the local government would demand for such amount. He even threatened to ensure the sack of any official found to have made such demand.
In his words, “We don’t charge money to evacuate ‘paupers’ as unclaimed dead bodies are called. It is the Department of Water and Environmental Sanitation of the local government that is saddled with the responsibility to evacuate paupers found on the streets. It is not in our tradition to charge money for that.
“There is a standing impress, which is normally used to take care of the burial of the pauper. Because nobody has come forward to claim ownership of the dead, we normally call it pauper.
“Why the pauper is still lying there as at Wednesday morning is because the procedure for clearance and burial is always cumbersome. The local government Department of Water and Environmental Sanitation will have to go to the police to get Death Certificate, which will certify that the pauper was not an armed robber.
“That is why removal of a pauper is not immediate. It is a must that the police is involved. The police will have to go and inspect the pauper to confirm that it’s not an armed robber that was shot or lynched.
“After the police must have been satisfied that the pauper is not that of an armed robber, they will now issue the local government a warrant which will now give us access to go and carry the pauper and give it a proper burial. We cannot just go and carry corpse because some people might be looking for their own relation.
“If the shop owners can mention the name of any local government official that made such monetary demand, I can assure them that such official will not go unpunished.”