In a startling revelation, Godfrey Okoye University (GOUNI) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to families with loved ones abandoned in its hospital mortuary, warning of an imminent mass burial for 33 corpses, some of which have languished in the facility for more than 18 years.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Christian Anieke, addressing a news conference on Sunday, emphasized the urgency of the evacuation, attributing the need to renovate the mortuary and transform it into a state-of-the-art facility befitting the varsity’s medical teaching hospital.
The Catholic Diocese of Enugu, owner of GOUNI, recently converted and upgraded the hospital for this purpose.
Securing a court injunction for the mass burial, Anieke expressed the challenges posed by the prolonged stay of the corpses, speculating that some may lack relations or have a criminal background.
He urged families to check for their loved ones, emphasizing the human dignity involved.
“In Igbo tradition, families must provide a befitting burial to avoid potential negative consequences on the family,” Anieke added.
Chief Medical Director Prof. Cajetan Nwadinigwe highlighted the complications arising from the lack of name tags on many corpses and the repetition of names among the 33.
Additionally, several entries lacked deposit dates, with some clearly residing in the mortuary for over a decade.
“This prompted our legal action and public warnings to families through newspaper advertisements,” Nwadinigwe explained, underlining the university’s commitment to resolving the unsettling situation.
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