Two families of the victims of the 21-storey building that collapsed on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi in Lagos State on Tuesday, engaged in a verbal war over the identity of one of the victims of the incident at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, IDH, Yaba.
The casualties remained 44, while survivors were 15 and missing persons were less than 40.
A dispute erupted at the point of cross-examination of the body to match the description of a female victim as presented by her family.
But another family member whose identity remained undisclosed, was observing the process at that time, was said to have cried out that the body belonged to her family.
Officials were said to have managed the argument between the families and resolved that blood samples of all the families must be collected before the victims could be identified and retrieved.
A serious argument was said to have ensued between the families but was carefully managed by the officials, who resolved that all families must submit their blood samples and collect the results before the victims could be identified and retrieved.
Some family members reportedly complained about identifying bodies recovered on time due to mutilation, making it difficult for easy identification, except by medical examinations like DNA.
A source, who pleaded anonymity, said families whose blood samples don’t tally with the victim and will not be given audience by the officials at the centre, “some families presented distant relations but were turned down.”
At the IDH, it was learnt that few family members were present to fulfil the procedures.
A relative to one of the victims, Mr. William Iroha said; “We presented a distant relative for blood sampling but turned back on the account that only blood relation should present blood samples.
“The deceased’s siblings will have to travel from the village to respond to this.”
Another source, who spoke in confidence, said; “Unclaimed corpses are often given a mass burial to decongest the morgue.
“The next of its kind will take place in Ikorodu, Badagry and Epe.”
It was gathered at press time that less than ten family members of the victims have fulfilled the requirement for identification to retrieve their loved ones while police operatives were on ground to forestall break down of law and order at the centre.
Meanwhile, the widow of Wale Bob-Oseni, one of the victims who died in the rubble, Mrs. Adeola Oseni, and sibling, Abass Oseni described the deceased as a “hardworking young and upwardly mobile Nigerian.”
The family said in a statement, “On Thursday, November 4, 2021, our hope that our husband, brother, son, nephew, friend and the core of many networks of hardworking young and upwardly mobile Nigerians, Wale Bob Oseni, would be one of the survivors of the ill-fated crash was dashed.
“Since we identified his body, we have been struggling with the nightmarish reality of our irreparable loss, the chasm of his absence and the multi-dimensional proportions of this transition from being to nothingness.
“It is not true that Wale Bob Oseni was a director or contractor in the Fourscore Properties construction transaction.
“The owner, Femi Osibona and Wale, were both alumni of Mayflower School, Ikenne where both of them bonded.
“It was this camaraderie that made Osibona invite him to see the dream project he was building.”