Now the remains of Dr Tosin Ajayi can rest in peace.
The late Managing Director, First Foundation Medical Centre, Lagos, and the husband of former beauty queen, Helen Prest-Ajayi will now be buried eight months after his demise.
His remains will be interred on February 11, 2021 in Lagos.
Ajayi died on April 26, 2020 at St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, after battling with kidney problem.
Though he died during the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the lockdown across the country, his friends and associates were determined that he would get a befitting burial, while complying with the lockdown restrictions.
That was not to be, as events that played out after his children were informed of his death led to the long stay of Ajayi’s corpse in the morgue.
It was gathered that shortly after the Ajayi children were told their father had died, they decided to petition the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, alleging that their father’s wife, Helen, killed him. She was invited to Panti Police Station, Yaba, to write a statement, after which the police decided to conduct further investigation on the matter, and requested that an autopsy be conducted on the deceased. The result revealed that he died of natural cause, as no foul play was found.
On account of the autopsy result, Ajayi’s children got another death certificate issued to them, with the address of the deceased captured as the residential address of his first wife. This sharply contradicted the Ikoyi home address, where he lived and shared with Helen Prest-Ajayi, and which they had admitted to as being his residence in their petition.
The issuance of another death certificate looked suspicious to those in the know, as his widow, Helen, had already been issued a death certificate when Ajayi’s body was deposited at the morgue. She had given the coroner, under letter through her lawyer, that should another death certificate be issued after the autopsy, it was to be handed over to her, being the one responsible for putting him in the TOS funeral home in LASUTH.
The address error on the new death certificate was pointed out by Helen’s lawyer, who asked the court to instruct that the records be rectified.
In the midst of all this, Ajayi’s, first wife, Yemisi, who is the sister of Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister of State for Health, went ahead to sue the morgue, TOS Funeral Home, at the High Court, demanding for the release of his corpse to her and her children to bury.
Upon finding out, Helen’s lawyer, it was gathered, joined her to the suit.
All of these events led to the delay of the burial of Ajayi, and this development hasn’t gone down well with friends and colleagues of the late renowned doctor.
Contrary to the story being peddled that Helen is the one stalling the burial of her husband, those close to the family are alleging that the children’s refusal to agree on the dates they picked has become the main issue.
After several meetings between Ajayi’s children and Helen, initiated by prominent people in Lagos, who are friends of Ajayi, were held, there seems to be a goalpost move on the burial date, each time one was put forward by the children and which Helen would agree to.
It was gathered that the real reason the Ajayi children have continued to refuse to concede to the pleas being made to them to have their father buried is said to be because they are angry Helen refused to bow to their demands.
Sources close to the family alleged that the older Ajayi children are demanding that Helen hand over their father’s corpse to them to bury and she would not be allowed to participate in the burial ceremony.
They also demand that she hand over the original death certificate and morgue pass to them, a request she refused to heed, since they were planning to exclude her from the burial.
They are also insisting that his burial will be officiated at their mother’s church, Sherperd Hill Baptist Church, Lagos, while the deceased had said he would want his burial conducted by the pastor of one of the RCCG parishes on the Island, where he worshipped.
These requests were refused by Helen, as her late husband didn’t attend the church of their choice. He even refused to attend the weddings of two of his daughters that held at the Sherperd Hill Baptist Church, for reasons best known to him.
Those close to the Ajayi family are wondering why Ajayi’s first wife, Yemisi, and her children have chosen to walk this path to settle scores, especially since Yemisi and Ajayi had parted ways 35 years ago, and ten years before he even met Helen, with whom he has a daughter and they were together for 25 years till his death.
Many people are also surprised by how Senator Mamora hasn’t stepped in to make peace in the face of the current situation, especially as he was quite close to Ajayi, spending time with him as well as Helen, despite being the brother of his first wife.
The unsavoury events in the Ajayis’ family has saddened many of the deceased friends and associates, who have had to watch how this renowned doctor and philanthropist has been dishonoured due to the suit, filed at the High Court by his first wife and children, resulting in the denial of his body from being released for burial.
But all that is over now as the wife of the deceased has started preparing for Dr Ajayi’s final homecoming, so that he may finally rest in peace.