The Ogun State Police Command said it is not aware of the alleged incarceration of 30 Nigerian staff in the premises of a Chinese firm for three days over alleged theft.
The Command Pubic Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said this when PREMIUM TIMES contacted him on Monday over the development.
”I am not aware of this incident, and I don’t think the matter was reported in any of our stations,” he said.
However, in his own reaction, Chairman of Trade Union Congress,TUC, in the state, Olubunmi Fajobi, said there was need for the concerned workers to formally hand in a complaint to the appropriate quarters.
“First, I think there a need to advise the concerned workers, whose rights were trampled upon to hand in a complaint formally to official and other appropriate quarters,” he said.
Mr. Fajobi said the congress would follow up the case with the state government and also report the anti-labour activities, inhuman treatment and unlawful detention amongst others of the Chinese construction companies in the state.
“This development is painful and shocking and as a union we’ve taken note and strongly believe the government and law enforcement agencies will not allow the matter be swept under the carpet without theperson who gave such a dastardly instruction is brought to book,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported how some workers at the Centre South Construction Company, CSCC, in the state on Monday protested their 72-hour incarceration by the management over a theft at its construction site.
The 30 victims were allegedly locked up at the firm’s three construction sites since Friday and were only set free on Monday morning.
The Chinese firm is handling the construction of Sango-Ota–Mowe Road and has three construction sites at Sango-Ota, Oke-Aro and Mowe in Ogun State.
The workers further alleged that they were on weekend duty, when the firm management locked them up within the premises under the pretext of preventing them from stealing the company’s property.
They also accused the management of putting out electricity and water supply in the premises, prompting the stranded workers to rely on hawkers passing by the gate.
The workers expressed shock when the management ordered that those on weekend duty should be locked in the three company’s premises on Friday adding that they were unable to leave the premises until the company’s senior officials resumed at 7 a.m. on Monday.
“What if there are emergencies like fire outbreak or someone fell sick among the locked in workers,’’ one of the workers at the Oke-Aro site said.
But, Ben Xhen, a senior official of the company in reaction said the company’s security outfit, Pahek Security Services Limited, advised the management to lock in the workers.
Contrary to this claim, a manager with Phabek, who pleaded anonymity, denied this explaining that the security firm never gave such an advice to the Chinese firm.
According to him, when the workers notified the security outfit of the development, it advised the construction company to release the workers.
He declared that the security company could not have ordered the incarceration of the workers including its own personnel inside the sites because of a theft in one formation.
Meanwhile, when PREMIUM TIMES contacted the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Akeem Ambali, he said he was in Kaduna, and could not make any comment on the matter for now.