The Lagos State government is said to have authorised N61, 285,000.00 for the mass burial of the 103 ENDSARS victims from the year 2020.
The Lagos government awarded the burial contract to TOS Funerals Limited in a letter 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 and signed by the Director General of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency, Mr Onafowote Fatai Idowu.
The letter came almost three years after the Sanwo-Olu administration denied the barbaric slaughter of unarmed protestors waving the Nigerian flag and screaming the national song at the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters revealed in the Certified True Copy report of the Lekki incident investigation on October 20, 2020, 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 that it deemed the stories of protestors killed or wounded to be genuine and requested that the relatives of the victims be compensated, and their remains be released. It is unknown if the request to return the victims’ remains to their relatives was followed.
Mr Idowu’s letter reveals that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu approved the letter for the victims’ 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.