Authorities of Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu State have issued a 21-day ultimatum to the families of 33 abandoned corpses in the university’s teaching hospital mortuary.
According to The PUNCH, the university has threatened to carry out a mass burial for the deceased individuals if their families fail to reclaim them within the specified timeframe.
The university’s vice-chancellor, Prof. Christian Anieke, announced the ultimatum at a news conference held in Enugu on Sunday. He explained that the decision was necessary to allow the university to proceed with renovations planned for the mortuary.
Prof. Anieke disclosed that some of the corpses had been in the mortuary for over 18 years, emphasizing the need for the renovation and upgrade to make the mortuary more suitable for a teaching hospital.
“We have obtained a court order to carry out a mass burial for the 33 abandoned corpses in our teaching hospital mortuary,” he stated.
“Some of the corpses have been in the mortuary for over 18 years, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage as we plan to renovate and transform the hospital into a befitting institution for a teaching hospital.”
Prof. Anieke appealed to families with corpses in the mortuary to come forward and reclaim them. “We are dealing with human beings here, not animals,” he emphasized. “It is essential to check if your relatives are among the unidentified corpses.”
The teaching hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Prof. Cajetan Nwadinigwe, revealed that a significant number of the corpses lacked proper identification.
He added that 14 of the deceased individuals shared the same name, and some lacked any documentation indicating the date they were deposited at the mortuary.
“It is evident that some of these corpses have been here for over ten years,”
“This is why we approached the court and placed advertisements in newspapers to notify families,” Prof. Nwadinigwe stated.