London Mortuary Bills Late Nigeria Ex-Speaker Wayas’ Family N13.3m To Sight His Corpse


LAGOS MARCH 1ST (NEWSRANGERS)-A London morgue where the remains of former Senate President, late Dr Joseph Wayas, is kept, has collected the sum of £6,710, amounting to N13,366,320, from members of his family, before allowing them access to the body.

This was disclosed in a report by Justice Maurice Odey Eneji, Chairman of Joe Wayas’ Burial Fact Finding Committee.

The report is dated 27 February 2024.

The report said the morgue managers had insisted on the amount, representing cost of maintenance of the body and general charges for over two years that the body has been kept there.

The committee, made up of elders in the Cross River northern district, needed to ascertain that the body was available, and what state it was in.

Wayas’ daughter, based in Nottingham, UK, Ms Donna Wayas, and one Mrs Echiko Julie Odey, were the two individuals who had access to sight and ascertain the state of the body.

Late Wayas, born 21 May 1941, died on 30 November 2021 in a london hospital after a lingering sickness.

He was Senate President from 1979 to 1983.

Former governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, first managed his health condition, and when he died, the state government released N200 million for repatriation of the body and burial.

However, soon after, a family crisis ensued which delayed the funeral.

In the report dated February 27, Justice Eneji said the committee has been very proactive, meeting regularly and is committed to ensuring that the body is repatriated for the burial.

However, he said they were still in need of a further £60,478, that is, N120,934,992, and have launched a passionate appeal towards raising the amount.

“In line with burial committee’s agreement with Ms Donna Wayas, we need to raise and remit/transfer to Donna the sum of £60,478 to offset all outstanding indebtedness, inclusive of cost of repatriation of the corpse to Nigeria for burial.

“We also need to raise and refund the sum of £7,210 paid on our behalf to the morgue managers in London,” Justice Eneji added.

Meanwhile, members of the Fact Finding Committee have agreed that they must allow both the state government and National Assembly to play their parts.

“Both the state and federal governments may have committed funds for this purpose in the past but he (late Wayas) has not yet been buried.

“He is not in any way responsible for the circumstances leading to the delay of his burial, neither does the delay detract from what he was in, and for, Nigeria.

“I think that now that the complexities surrounding his death and burial have been unravelled, our statesman is entitled to, and should be given, the burial that befits his status by both the federal and state governments.

“I think that we should communicate officially to them that all the knots have been loosened and all is now set for the burial as soon as it is convenient for government,” key member of the committee, who did not wish to be named, said.


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