SCOAN: Nationals Of Benin And Togo Yet To Be Found


Three Togolese victims are still missing while a family is in frantic search of hospitals to locate a Beninoise national. The Punch gathered.

11 Togolese were reportedly said to have been in the building when it constructed.

“We (Togolese community) have not been able to sleep since this incident occurred. Our people only came to Nigeria for work and this happened. They are not even members of the church. What do we go back home to say to their relations, that we could not even find their bodies?” Togolese, Sofo Apenete, said.

Apenete, whose relations were among the workers, said it took days to locate eight of the 11 men.

Currently, three of the workers are still missing.

He said, “Altogether, we have searched more than 15 hospitals in Lagos because all the injured victims were scattered in different locations. But the most frustrating part is going from one hospital to another and being told that our men were not among the injured or the dead.

“Three were located not long after the collapse and five during our searches. But we have not been able to locate the remaining three workers. One of the three, Estse Basil, is my distant relation. I am not really sure about the names of the other two men.”

Apenete said families of the located injured Togolese nationals could not leave them at home in Agbara area of Lagos where they live and had to relocate them back home in Togo for further treatment.

A Togolese Embassy official in Lagos told The Punch that

“Our officials have been to the scene but got no evidence that Togolese people were involved, the official identified as Mr. Yaovi said.

The National Emergency Management Agency spokesperson in the South West, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said the agency was aware of the different nationalities involved in the collapse.

He explained that the victims were not forgotten, but that the process of identification was what was making the location of bodies difficult.

“The families of the victims need to exercise patience. This is going to take a while because there are three methods through which victims would be identified; by fingerprints, pathology and DNA.

“We are going to repeat the same process we used during the 2012 Dana plane crash. You remember the process of identifying victims took up to two months at the time.”

But could there possibly still be bodies trapped under the rubble? Farinloye said that was impossible as he ensured the ground floor of the site was turned out before the site was closed at 3.15pm last week Thursday.

A member of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told of a Beninoise family which has also been searching for the body of a missing victim.

“The family has been going about showing pictures of the missing man. The family said he was also in the building when it collapsed. But nobody knows anything about him. They called the man Javi,” he said.

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