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Lagos Begins Coroner’s Inquest Into Synagogue Building Collapse; Starts DNA Tests To Identify Dead Bodies

… DNA Tests To Identify Dead Bodies

The Lagos State Government has instituted a Coroner’s Inquest under the Lagos State Coroner’s System Law No. 7 of 2007 for the purpose of establishing the cause and manner of the recent incident of a collapsed building within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations at Ikotun Egbe, Lagos and the several deaths that followed.

image27The inquest was instigated by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, under section 15 of the Coroner Law which provides that a Coroner shall hold an inquest whenever he is informed that the death of a deceased person lying within his Coroner District was as a result of a violent, unnatural or suspicious occurrence.

Ipaye highlighted that the Coroner has extensive powers to investigate the cause and circumstances of death and bring his findings and recommendations to the attention of appropriate authorities.

“In doing this, he has all the powers of a magistrate to summon and compel the attendance of witnesses, including medical examiners, and require them to give evidence, produce documents or present other relevant materials,” he added.

He said “the Law requires the verdict of a Coroner as certified in writing to be forwarded to the State Attorney General and such verdict may form the basis of criminal prosecutions depending on the evidence collected’.

“The Coroner in this case is Magistrate O. A. Komolafe, who also sat as Coroner in the Dana Air Crash case. He is expected to announce his sitting/visitation schedules and other details and to hold the inquest at the premises of the High Court of Lagos State, Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja.”

Meanwhile, in a bid to carry out forensic identification, including DNA analysis of the bodies recovered, the government has commenced the identification of recovered bodies by calling on family members and all nationals who believe their relations could have been in the collapsed building to come forward and submit samples that could aid forensic identification and DNA analysis of recovered bodies.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who made this call on Friday in Lagos stated that the State government has considered it necessary to start forensic identification and DNA analysis of the recovered bodies in view of the need to identify each of them.

He, therefore, appealed to family members, especially parents, children and siblings of nationals who believe their relations could have been in the collapsed building to visit the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja from Friday 26th September, 2014 to submit samples that can aid the forensic identification and DNA analysis of recovered bodies.

The Commissioner noted however that those eligible to give samples for the forensic identification and DNA analysis in order of preference include; parents, children and siblings of the deceased.

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