Family of Late Joseph Wayas Charged N13.3m by London Morgue for Viewing Deceased’s Body

A London morgue, where the remains of the former Senate President, the late Dr Joseph Wayas , are being held, has demanded a payment of N13,366,320 from his family members before granting them access to view the body....READ FULL ARTICLE

This information was revealed in a report by Justice Maurice Odey Eneji, Chairman of the Joe Wayas’ Burial Fact Finding Committee, dated 27th February 2024.

According to the report, the morgue managers insisted on this payment, which covers the cost of maintaining the body and general charges incurred over the two-year period since the body arrived there.

The committee, composed of elders from Cross River northern district, sought to confirm the availability and condition of the body. Two individuals, Ms Donna Wayas, Wayas’ daughter based in Nottingham, UK, and Mrs Echiko Julie Odey, were granted access to view and assess the state of the body.

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Late Joseph Wayas, born on 21st May 1941, passed away on 30th November 2021 in a London hospital after a prolonged illness. He served as the Senate President from 1979 to 1983.

The late Wayas’ health condition was initially managed by former Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade. Following his death, the state government allocated N200 million for the repatriation and burial of the body.

However, a family crisis emerged shortly after, causing a delay in the funeral proceedings.

In the February 27th report, Justice Eneji stated that the committee had been proactive, holding regular meetings, and was dedicated to ensuring the repatriation of the body for burial.

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However, they still require an additional £60,478 and have launched a heartfelt appeal to raise the necessary funds.

“According to the burial committee’s agreement with Ms Donna Wayas, we need to raise and transfer the sum of £60,478 to settle all outstanding debts, including the cost of repatriating the corpse to Nigeria for burial. We also need to refund the £7,210 paid on our behalf to the morgue managers in London,” Justice Eneji explained.

Meanwhile, members of the Fact Finding Committee have agreed that both the state and federal governments must fulfill their responsibilities.

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“While the state and federal governments may have allocated funds for this purpose in the past, the burial has not taken place yet. The delay in no way reflects the circumstances of his death or diminishes his contributions to Nigeria.

I believe that now that the complexities surrounding his death and burial have been resolved, our statesman deserves a dignified burial befitting his status, which should be provided by both the federal and state governments.

We should officially communicate to them that all obstacles have been cleared, and everything is in place for the burial as soon as it is convenient for the government,” stated a key committee member who preferred to remain anonymous....READ FULL ARTICLE

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