August 2 (BBC) – Medical student Enya Egbe fled his anatomy class crying after being disturbed by the corpse he was asked to work on.
This was not the squeamish response of a naïve young man.
The 26-year-old still vividly recalls that Thursday afternoon seven years ago at Nigeria’s University of Calabar, converging with fellow students around three tables with a cadaver laid out on each.
Minutes later, he screamed and ran.
The body his group had been about to dissect was that of Divine, his friend of more than seven years.
“We used to go clubbing together,” he told me. “There were two bullet holes on the right side of his chest.”
Oyifo Ana was one of the many students who ran out after Mr Egbe and found him weeping outside.
“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,” Ms Ana said.
She added that early one morning she had seen a police van loaded with bloodied bodies at their medical school, which had a mortuary attached to it.
Mr Egbe sent a message to Divine’s family who, it turned out, had been going to different police stations in search of their relative after he and three friends were arrested by security agents on their way back from a night out.
The family eventually managed to reclaim his body.
Mr Egbe’s shocking discovery highlighted both the lack of corpses available in Nigeria for medical students and what can happen to victims of police violence.