Posted by By Ndidi Onuora on
Hopes by the families of the Apo Six victims on the exhumation of the bodies were yesterday dashed as the authorities of the National Hospital, Abuja, which was to carry out the exercise said it lacked the necessary facilities and logistics to embark upon it.
ABUJAŚ Hopes by the families of the Apo Six victims on the exhumation of the bodies were yesterday dashed as the authorities of the National Hospital, Abuja, which was to carry out the exercise said it lacked the necessary facilities and logistics to embark upon it.
Secretary to the Judicial Commission looking into the killings, Mr. Isaac Idu made this known when he publicly read out a letter received from the Hospital on the 25th of June, 2005 to the Commission.
His words: "It is my wish to bring to your notice the recent development following the letter received yesterday (Monday) from the National Hospital that it may not be possible to conduct autopsy on the bodies at the burial site for health reasons."
"It cannot also be done in the hospital for the same reason. This is because the burial site is within residential area and would cause health hazard if conducted there," he explained.
"Also the tissue samples of the bodies which can take up to six to eight weeks to be examined cannot be done in Nigeria as the hospital lack necessary facilities to do that.Therefore, it is very likely that the tissue sample would be taken to the United States," he further explained.
However, he assured, "we are looking for an open field where the autopsy can be done because there is need to cross-match the DNA and the body."
Meanwhile, the bodies would be reburied upon the end of autopsy as against the earlier ruling that they be kept in mortuary."This is because it is very likely that the bodies are in a decomposing state," he said.
In view of this, the chairman of the commission stated, "this is without prejudice to the Late Anthony Idam whose corpse is already in the mortuary.
However, the counsel to the victims, Mr. Amobi Nzelu reacting to the development stated that it is still possible to preserve the bodies in preservation bags.
"I was informed by Prof. Obafunwa, Professor of Forensic Pathology, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Lagos and Prof. E.J.C. Nwana, Professor of Anatomic Pathology, University of Illorin that the bodies can be preserved once exhumed no matter the period of time the body may have been."