Five days after a 50-year-old man, Mr. Joseph Oranusi, was reported missing by his family, he has been found dead and abandoned in front of a shop on Capitol Road, Agege, Lagos. Before his death, Oranusi, who hailed from Idemili, Anambra State, was working as a security guard at a complex within the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja. PUNCH Metro learnt that the deceased, who lived with his family at Olusanya Street, Isokoko, Agege, was initially reported missing at the Isokoko Police Division on Thursday, October 24 ─ the day he failed to return home from his workplace. The family, apart from reporting to the police, also went to Oranusi’s workplace, and made an announcement on the broadcast media as they searched for their missing father. When the family got to Oranusi’s workplace, they were reportedly told thathe signed out from office by 7.15am on the fateful Thursday. However, five days later, it was learnt that some policemen on patrol from the Dopemu division discovered Oranusi’s corpse in front of an abandoned shop on Capitol Road, Agege. Some neighbours, who declined to give their names, told PUNCH that Oranusi was believed to have slumped and died at the location while on his way back home. A police source added that Oranusi might have survived if help had come his way from pedestrians or residents when he slumped. Speaking with PUNCH Metro on Tuesday, the wife of the deceased, Hope Oranusi, said her greatest pain was that her husband was taken away to a morgue in Yaba, while the family was not contacted even though the police found an identity card on him. She added that the ID card should have prompted the police to trace his workplace and family.
“We had looked everywhere for him since the day of the incident. He had left for work on the night of Wednesday and had not returned in the morning as usual. He had hypertension and he used to take some drugs to alleviate the effects.
It was five days later that a church member called me that someone heard that an abandoned corpse was found in front of a shop on Capitol Road. They did not allow me to see it, but when his younger brother went, it turned out to be my husband.
My shock was that we learnt the police took the body to a morgue for a mass burial. I was very sad. How could a man returning from work and found with an ID card be taken to a morgue for a mass burial without his family or workplace being contacted? However, they have rescinded the decision.”
Hope, who has three kids and teaches in a private secondary school, added that she believed that although people might have failed to come to her husband’s rescue, he died a natural death.
“He died a natural death. His body was found intact. So, I don’t think anyone was responsible,” she said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, while confirming the incident, said the police had released the corpse to the family for burial. He said:
“The police recovered his corpse. His case was recorded as Sudden and Unnatural Death. The police took the body to a morgue where an autopsy should have been conducted to ascertain the cause of death. But on the family’s request, his body has now been released for burial.”