Enya Egbe, a 26-year-old Nigerian graduate of medicine, has recalled how he fled his anatomy class seven years ago after he realised his friend’s corpse was used for an experiment.
The graduate of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) said Divine, his late friend, was arrested alongside other persons on their way back from a night out.
Egbe said Divine was allegedly killed by the security operatives following the arrest.
He recalled that during the anatomy class, he was startled to have discovered the body he and his team was asked to dissect was that of his late friend.
“We used to go clubbing together. There were two bullet holes on the right side of his chest,” he told BBC.
He said the incident left him unsettled for long that he had to abandon his studies for weeks.
He added that he kept imagining his late friend standing by the door each time he tried to enter the anatomy room.
Egbe, who now works in a hospital laboratory in Delta state, also revealed that he ended up graduating a year after his classmates due to the trauma experienced after the incident.
He said that after discovering Divine’s corpse, he had informed his family, who had been thronging different police stations in search of him after the arrest.
According to him, Divine’s family was able to reclaim his corpse for a proper burial while some of the officers involved in his death were dismissed.
Egbe said the incident was indicative of the situation of things in Nigeria where many families never get to see the bodies of their loved ones that die from extrajudicial killings.
Fred Onuobia, a lawyer, said family members are entitled to retrieve bodies of lawfully executed criminals belonging to them.
“If no-one shows up after a certain length of time, the bodies are sent to teaching hospitals,” Onuobia said.
On his part, Olugbenga Ayannug, head of the country’s association of anatomists, said there’s a need to change the extant law which enables government mortuaries to send “unclaimed bodies” to medical schools.
Ayannug said such development will ensure mortuaries obtain full historical records and family consent of bodies donated to schools.
“There will be a lot of education and a lot of advocacy so people can see that if I donate my body, it will be for the good of the society,” he added.
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