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DIYA NOT INVOLVED IN SALE OF HUMAN PARTS

By NBF News
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The management of LOTAD Mortuary Services, established by former Chief of General Staff, General Oladipo Diya, has described a recent allegation of human parts sale against the company as falsehood and blatant concealment of facts. The management of the company, while refuting the allegation of purported sale of human parts made by a former employee, Mr. Oluwatosin Onamade, in a controversial publication by a weekly newspaper, contented that the allegation was made in bad faith and out of mischief to embarrass General Diya.

Speaking during the press briefing, counsel to the company, Segun Osefobamu, explained that the publication was a mischievous attempt to portray General Diya and the company in bad light, as well as to lower their estimation in the eyes of the people.

According to him, the publication, entitled, Diya in human parts scandal: Mortuary Manager Opens Can of Worms, was an after-thought and desperate, calculated attempt by Onamade to hold on to anything for survival.

Shedding light on the matter, the lawyer disclosed that Onamade was introduced to General Diya in 2006, as a person who could manage and operate LOTAD Funeral Services.

'The Board of Directors of Lotad met and decided to enter into a lease arrangement with Mr. Onamade for one year. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was drawn and signed between the two parties granting the management and operation of LOTAD to Mr. Onamade for one year,' he said.

Mr. Osefobamu stressed that the MOU was not reviewed at the expiration of the one-year arrangement and he was subsequently relieved of his duties in 2008, after many anomalies and contravention of some sections of the MOU.

Explaining further, he said: 'After 2007, when Mr. Onamade's lease agreement was not renewed, the Board of LOTAD was inundated with information of how the manager/operator, Mr. Onamade, had sacked two senior managers, Mr. Jimoh Saliu and Prince David Adesina Adegun. He also sacked all the embalmers so that he could be the only embalmer left, and disengaged LOTAD security guard to pave way for his own security guards, who would be totally loyal to him. There were also stories of caskets being sold and taken of LOTAD's premise, which was not part of the lease agreement.

'All these were done without the knowledge of the chairman and the Board of LOTAD, and were contrary to Section 29 of the MOU. Based on these cases of anomalies, the board of LOTAD in 2008 decided to end the management/operation of Mr. Oluwatosin Onamade. In accordance with Clause 23 of the MOU, a six-month written notice was given to him to determine the agreement on the 31st of July 2008.'

Rather than reply the board, the lawyer disclosed that Mr. Onamade charged the funeral home to court in October 2008, alleging that his contract was frustrated, and asked for N30 million as aggravated damage for assault and battery.

'In view of the foregoing, we want to state that Onamade is a liar of the highest order because trial on the matter has not commenced in court. Also, all parties to the case have not said a word on the case,' Osefobamu said.

The lawyer further noted that the recent publication in the newspaper raised pertinent questions about Onamade and his intent, adding that the allegation of pilfering and sales of vital organs is a criminal offence, while the matter pending in court is a civil case.

He then wondered why Mr. Onamade, who was aware of such criminal activities, did not make formal complaints to the police to determine the buyers of the human organs.

'Who are the sellers and the buyers of the organs? The police need to be invited into the matter. The question is where lies the fallacious headline, 'Diya in Human Parts Scandal? Onamade claimed that Saliu, the man allegedly involved in the pilfering of vital human organs was reinstated a year after he terminated his appointment. If General Diya knew about the allegations of human parts sales and was also involved as he claimed, Mr. Saliu would have been reinstated immediately after the purported dismissal. So, Onamade's allegation was a plot to justify the wrong dismissal of staff he carried out in 2007, and his attempt to hijack the operation of the company without the knowledge of the owners.

'If the allegation made by Onamade about the pilfering of human organs is true, have there been any complaints by any depositor of corpse on missing organs? If Onamade claimed to have sacked Mr. Saliu in 2007 for such criminal offences, what steps has he made to hand him over to the police? Why did Onamade not raise the allegation of human parts scandal in the case he instituted in court? Is the N30 million he is claiming as cost for aggravated damages meant to be a compensation for his knowledge of the alleged sale of human organs?'

He averred that since crime and its concealment is not time-bound, the police should be invited to investigate and determine the veracity the allegation.

Also speaking on the publication, Mr. Kehinde Diya, the company's secretary noted that they are law-abiding citizens who respect the sanctity and value of humans, whether dead or alive.

He noted that right from inception, the funeral home has a policy that mandates family of the deceased to be present when their corpse is being prepared for burial. He emphasized that no family has ever complained about any missing part from their corpse.

'What we run is a private morgue, we don't carry out mass burial or pick corpse from the road. People take stock of their dead relations before being moved out of here. It can easily be seen that Onamade is a drowning man desperate to hold on to anything for survival.'