The Lagos State government has allegedly approved the sum of N61, 285,000.00 for the mass burial of the 103, the year 2020 Endsars victims.
In a letter leaked online, titled ‘Letter of No Objection. Mass Burial for the 103, the Year 2020 Endsars Victims’, dated July 19th, with reference number LA/PPA/NO ONJ/VOL22/213, addressed to the permanent secretary, Ministry of Health, Alausa, Ikeja and signed by the Director General of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Mr Onafowote Fatai Idowu, the Lagos government awarded the burial contract to TOS Funerals Limited.
The letter comes almost three years after the Sanwo-Olu government denied the brutal killing of unarmed protesters who were waving the Nigerian flag and chanting the national anthem when the military opened fire on them at the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
In the Certified True Copy report of the Lekki incident investigation of October 20, 2020, by the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters, the panel revealed that several unidentified bodies were removed by security agencies and the Lagos State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit (LASEHMU) and deposited at various hospital mortuaries in Lagos State.
The panel also said it found the cases of death or injured protesters credible and asked that the families of the victims be compensated and their bodies released. It is unclear if the directive to release the victims’ bodies to their families has been carried out.
The letter signed by Mr Idowu confirms that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu signed off on the contract to give the victims a mass burial.
“We refer to your letter dated 13 July 2023 with Ref No: LSMH/G/NS/013-1/23 in respect of the above subject matter. Following our review of your letter and the documents attached, we note the following; Mr Governor’s approval, minutes of ministerial tenders’ board meeting, procurement planning committee and sign-off.
“Following review of your request and based on the information provided therein, the Agency has “No Objection” to the award of contract To Messrs. TOS Funerals Limited at a total cost of N61,285,000.00 (Sixty-One Million, Two Hundred and Eighty-Five Thousand Naira) only for the mass burial for the 103, the year 2020 Endsars victims
“In view of the above, please note that you should ensure a quadruplicate copy of the letter of award for Messes. TOS Funerals Limited, registered with the PPA within 72 hours, ensure the submission of the certificate of suppliers registration with PPA in the appropriate class, ensure all statutory taxes and deductions are remitted by the supplier and the letter of award is to be accompanied by a copy of this letter of “No Objection, Certificate of Registration / Renewal with PPA and receipt of payment of Admin fees (0.25%) to be paid before release of fund.
“Refer to Head of Service circular with Reference No. CIR/H05/20/Vol 1/051 dated May 2020, it is mandated that the 0.25% admin fee is paid to PPA and the 0.5% agreement fee is paid to the Ministry of Justice. Service providers should indicate in writing where there is the need for STO/MDA Finance and Accounts to deduct at source or payment directly by the service providers before the release of funds.
“Pursuant to Sections 18 (1) (b) and 18(1) (k) of the Lagos State Public Procurement Law 2021), your office is required to keep proper records of this project which shall be subject to procurement audit by the agency after. Please be guided accordingly,” the letter read.