‘In observance of the law, kindly transfer custody of the remains of Mr. Bola David Garrick immediately as she is now preparing to bury her late husband on Sunday, 9 September 2018,’ the letter to the Government Pathologist concludes.
The Board expressed concern at the confusion around custody of the remains of Mr. Bala David Garrick even though he is survived by his wife. This has caused delays, created uncertainty over the burial and tension among family members.
Since the death of Bola David Garrick over six weeks ago the body has been held up at the Connaught Hospital Mortuary. This is because one Abdul Otis Sesay representing the interest of the children has been trying to stop the wife from taking custody of the remains of his late husband and proceed with funeral arrangements.
When it became apparent that Mr. Abdul Otis Sesay was having his way and the wife felt she was being sidelined, she reported the matter to the Legal Aid Board for mediation. It was realized that at the heart of the confusion were underlying issues relating to inheritance. A settlement was reached on Monday, 27 August 2018.
The Board ordered Mr. Abdul Otis Sesay to allow the wife to mourn her late husband in peace and also give him a fitting burial. At the same time, he is free to pay his last respect, attend the funeral and provide support if requested by the wife.
‘We copied the Minister of Health and Sanitation and the Chief Medical Officer on the letter to underline how strongly we feel about the matter and to let those concern know there are consequences should they refuse to respect this order,’ the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles warned.
Meanwhile, a senior member of the Anglican Church in Waterloo who is also a family member, Mr. Fred Claye informed the Legal Aid Board that the Columbia Davis Funeral Home has said the body is in a bad state and therefore impossible to put together.