Tuesday, 11 June 2013


 We first break the news that the Lagos State House of Assembly had passed Cremation bill into law, and we later presented you the reactions of the Council of Ulamah headed by Sheikh Abudr Rahman Ahmad.Now, Governor Fashola has signed it into law. READ HIS REASONS BELOW...

It is now legal to cremate bodies in Lagos.

Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday signed three bills for laws to establish the State Christian and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, the Ibile Oil and Gas Corporation and another to provide for voluntary cremation of bodies and unclaimed bodies.

The governor, who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja, said: “The new law tells the story of a full consciousness of how global Lagos State has become in the affairs of things. If people migrate here, choose a home here, set up businesses here and believe from where they come that cremation is the best way in which they want to be treated, I think we should as a global city provide those standard practices as it is done in many other cities in the world and it is for those who choose to use that kind of service.”

“Let it not be said that ‘oh we missed an investment opportunity because we were not responsive to a particular need or we lost interaction because we were insensitive to other people’s belief and this sits well with a report that was brought to my attention yesterday to the effect that Lagos is now just behind Johannesburg as perhaps the most visited African city on the continent”, the governor said.

He reiterated that the State must as expected take her role and provide as many services as possible so that people who visit the city will know that they have come to an international city where they can make choices.

He added that what is uppermost is the need to be sensitive to every section of society as best as it is possible to do so within the ambit and the full width of the constitutional provisions that safeguards the expressions of these rights and privileges and religious obligations.

Fashola thanked members of the House of Assembly for working on the three new bills and passing them into law.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaiye said the bill on voluntary cremation of corpses and unclaimed corpses in Lagos and for connected purposes is a private member bill that takes into consideration the need to have formal legal structure for the cremation of deceased persons within the state.

He added that the bill establishes crematoriums for the state and that there can be no cremations except in crematoriums duly recognised, established and managed according to the law, adding that the new law is a clear attempt to strictly regulate the manner in which cremations will be carried out in Lagos State.

“The law also empowers the Commissioner for Health to appoint a registered medical practitioner with at least 5 years experience as the medical officer in charge of the crematorium office and would work with two deputies with specified duties”, the Attorney -General added.

Ipaiye, proffering answers on who may be cremated, said there would be no cremation unless there have been an application for cremation made in accordance with section 9 of the law. “It must be the deceased that provides for it in his will or the families of the deceased who could agree to make the application but before it is considered there must be a death certificate issued. There must also be a certified true copy of the entry of the deceased death in the relevant registers and there must be a medical certificate and confirmed medical certificate which must certify the cause of the death”.

“Section 9 provides that where a will is silent, the near relative who may apply must have attained the age of 18. It also provides that a medical officer can apply for cremation for abandoned corpses which are not claimed after considerable period of time. The law also talks about the aftermath of unclaimed corpses, as 14 days notice is given after cremation and if nobody claims the ashes, the office can dispose of it”, he explained.

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