Former Nigerian Senate President’s Corpse Abandoned In London Over Funds(SEE more)
The remains of the Senate President in the Second Republic (1979-1983), Joseph Wayas have reportedly been abandoned in a London hospital.
Wayas died in December 2021 at a London hospital, following a lingering illness, which some family members attributed to poverty.
Family sources that spoke with Daily Trust revealed that they can not cope with maintaining the body of Wayas due to a lack of financial help.
The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade in December 2021 had inaugurated an expanded funeral committee.
This was after the state government had mandated the then commissioner for health, Dr Betta Edu to oversee his health management in London.The state government was said to have released some funds to the funeral committee headed by two-time Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi.
But 14 months after his death, findings show that the body of Nigeria’s former number three citizen had been neglected over funds controversy.
Findings also revealed that there the controversy surrounding the funeral funds led to the resignation of key members of the committee.
According to Daily Trust, one of the key members of the funeral committee, former executive secretary of the National Planning Commission and one-time governorship hopeful, Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, confirmed that he had since left the Committee but did not give reasons.
He also confirmed that the governor made funds available to prosecute the funeral but said the first son of the deceased, Joseph Wayas jr, should be in a better position to explain why the body of his late father had not been interred.
Ugbo reacting to the statement of the lawmaker’s son asking Daily Trust to question the committee said, “He cannot say he does not have an explanation to give about why the funeral is delayed. He is the first son. He should be in charge.”
Wayas jr told the platform that the funeral committee was saddled with the task of handling the funeral and that he had little to do.
He commended Ayade for the support he gave to the committee but said 14 months after, they were unable to bury his father.
Wayas Jr added, “The funeral is not exactly in our hands but that of the funeral committee. I heard there are issues surrounding the funeral funds. And some members are said to have resigned. I cannot go back to the state governor or federal government now due to election issues. The governor has done well already.”
In an earlier interview, Wayas jr regretted the delay in carrying out the burial of his father but appealed that the body is given its last respect soon.
Wayas Jr thanked President Muhamudu Buhari, who had facilitated his father’s trip to London when he first took ill.
He said his father had access to the best medical care, but the resources he gave got exhausted within three months.
According to him, before the senior Wayas died, it was his sister in London who bore the cost of his treatment and had been maintaining the corpse since 2021.
Commenting, the permanent secretary of the state Ministry of Health, Dr Iwara Iwara, said, “As it is well known, the state governor empanelled a committee. As a person, I haven’t heard anything further. I cannot be able to give reasons why the burial is delayed.”
Chief media adviser to the governor, Barrister Christian Ita, said, “I don’t want to get involved in the matter. Perhaps the first son is the problem. But speak to members of the funeral committee. The governor actually released money for the burial months ago.”