A medical student identified as Oyifo Ana, has revealed that most of the cadavers used during medical school had bullet holes in them.
She disclosed this while narrating what a fellow student discovered when she and other students of the University of Calabar were to work on some cadavers.
The other student named Enya Egbe ran out of the lab when he discovered that one of the bodies they were to work on was that of a close friend of his, Divine.
“We used to go clubbing together,” Egbe told Ana who found him crying outside when she ran after him.
“There were two bullet holes on the right side of his chest.”
“Most of the cadavers we used in school had bullets in them. I felt so bad when I realised that some of the people may not be real criminals,” Ana said.
A message was later sent to Divine’s family who had been searching for him at different police stations after he and his friends were arrested by security agents.
Egbe’s story shows what could happen to victims of police violence.
According to the BBC, in Nigeria, a current law hands “unclaimed bodies” in government mortuaries to medical schools. The state can also appropriate bodies of executed criminals, though the last execution took place in 2007.
More than 90% of the cadavers used in Nigerian medical schools are “criminals killed by shooting”, according to 2011 research in the medical journal Clinical Anatomy.
A senior lawyer, Fred Onuobia, said relatives were entitled to collect the bodies of lawfully executed criminals.
“If no-one shows up after a certain length of time, the bodies are sent to teaching hospitals,” the advocate said.
But the situation is worse with extrajudicial killings, as relatives never get to know about the deaths or are unable to locate the bodies, he said.
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