Three mortuary attendants, who police accused of cutting off the two wrists and the heart of a dead woman, were on Thursday brought before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ court in Lagos State.
The police charged Micheal Olusegun, 65; Oluseyi Olamade, 41; and Adetunji Aliyu, 45, with two counts of conspiracy and misconduct with regards to a corpse.
The Police Prosecutor, ASP Roman Unuigbe, told the court that the accused persons committed the offence on November 16, at St. Raphael Divine Mercy Hospital in Ijede, Ikorodu area of Lagos.
Unuigbe said that one Anthony Lawani, lodged a complaint at the police station that the body of his sister, 51-year-old Mary Ehinlaiye, which was deposited at the morgue was missing.
“My Lord, the complainant had gone to the mortuary to collect his sister’s body for burial but the attendants could not present the body to him.
“It was later discovered that they had exchanged the body for another one and the family of the other deceased had buried his sister as their own.
“They secretly went to the mortuary and exchange the corpses and tried to return her to her brother without two wrists and a heart.
“Fortunately, Lawani discovered the missing parts and drew the attention of the police to the situation,” he said.
The offence, he said contravened the provisions of sections 165 (b) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. (Revised)
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that section 165 (b) provides for five years imprisonment while 411 provides two years for conspiracy.
After the charges were read to them, they pleaded not guilty.
Chief Magistrate Peter Ojo, admitted the accused to bail in the N500,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
Ojo ordered that one of the sureties must be a blood relation and must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction.
He also ordered that the sureties must also show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos Government and be gainfully employed.
Ojo adjourned the case until January 30 for trial.