By Efe Onodjae
The sight of dead bodies floating on the Kirikiri canal, Apapa, Lagos, has assumed a disturbing phenomenon, with three bodies –two males and a female recovered within three days.
These bloated bodies which usually floated towards the shore of Vanguard’s corporate office, emit distinct odours.
Last year, over nine bloated bodies in their decomposing states were found in the same canal, some with injuries.
Though details of the exact circumstances that led to ugly sights could not be ascertained. But residents within the Kirikiri area told Vanguard that they could have been victims of robbers who were pushed into the canal from the Kirikiri, Mile-Two and Festac ends for putting up the resistance.
Others were of the view that some of them could have been drunk and mistakenly plunged into the canal, or that the male corpses, in particular, could have been robbers who were caught, beaten and thrown into the canal.
More worrisome is the fact that none of the corpses had been identified by residents on that axis.
Last week Tuesday, members of staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Health/Occupational Health and Safety Services came in a white ambulance with plate number KTU 514 ER, to evacuate two corpses: a male and a female, after Vanguard alerted them.
Barely two days later, they returned to evacuate another male bloated corpse.
One of the staff, Mr Christopher Okwu, confirmed to have evacuated the bodies on two occasions, within three days.
Another member of staff, Eniola Yusuf, said the recovered corpses were in their decomposing states and as such, could not be identified.
He said: “I cannot recall the number of dead bodies we found last year. However, in the month of December 2022, alone, we evacuated three bodies within the space of three days.
“ Whenever we evacuate the bodies, an autopsy is not carried out on them because the bodies are decayed.”
An admin officer in Vanguard, Mr Orji Francis, lamented that “we have seen multiple dead bodies floating here. When such happens, we would immediately contact the Ministry of Health to evacuate them so that it doesn’t get decayed, because when it starts decaying, nobody can not come into our premises. And the ministry has always responded without delay.
“ We noticed an injury on one side of the last body evacuated. The injury showed that he had been stabbed and maybe thrown into the water.”
Police sources at Kirikiri division told Vanguard that the division had been alerted to the incident.
Sources said, “ Policemen are stationed at Vanguard junction. We often patrol the area to ensure such an ugly incident does not happen again. Special focus is centred around the bridges because information got to us about the dangerous activities that happen both at night and daytime in the location.”
When contacted, the Lagos State Police spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin said such matters had not been brought to his notice. But he promised that the command would swing into action immediately.