When the Ifekanwa family identified the remains of their family member last week at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, Lagos, little did they know that their identification would be in dispute a week later.
The family went in to LASUTH the previous week to identify a corpse, whom they said was the late Mr. Jones Ifekanwa, and were reinvited to do so again this week. Unfortunately there had been some decomposure of the body in the intervening days, and so they were unable to give a definitive yes that the body was Jones Ifekanwa.
Another family whose name is undisclosed, identified the body as belonging to their relative, forcing the Chief Medical Examiner, Professor John Obafunwa was forced to tell both family that DNA identification would be needed before the body could be released to anyone, and that it would take four weeks for any results to appear. The family argued over the issue, nearly coming to blows.
The deceased Ifekanwa’s older sister Mrs. Jennifer Enanana, told the Punch reporter that the mix-up arose from the decomposing state of the body. She said, “My brother was identified at the crash site. He wasn’t burnt. He had his identity card with him and some other documents in his pockets; with that, they identified him.
“So this morning, they took us in and they wrapped him up as if it was a gift pack, showing just his face not his ears, not his head. Can you imagine? And we were telling them that this is our brother whom we have identified. He has a mark on his lips and on his forehead; it is just a unique feature of him and all that.
“Could you believe that another family went inside and identified the same Jones’s body? A body that has been identified by them and confirmed by us twice!That means they did not store the bodies properly; that means there is something fishy going on.”