Operatives of the Lagos Police Command have killed two casual workers with Chi Limited during a protest at the company’s headquarters on Ajao Estate, Lagos State.
One of the deceased, 19-year-old Daniel Osikoya, joined the company few days before the incident. The identity of the second victim is yet to be ascertained. Both of them died from gun injuries they sustained in the leg and thigh respectively.
The workers said they embarked on the protest due to discrimination by the management between them and the regular employees, saying the management only catered to the welfare of the full-time workers.
Some of the casual workers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the management overlooked them during the Yuletide as it gave welfare packages to full-time employees, so they decided to help themselves out with some of the company’s products.
“It is pure injustice to give only the full-time workers gifts without giving any to casual workers, who do most of the jobs. That was why we fought for our rights. It is unfair for the policemen to attack us. We were about to move the cartons out of the company’s gate when the policemen invited by one of the company’s security men started shooting.
“Bullets hit Daniel in the thigh and another worker was shot in the leg. I was with the two workers that were shot; it was God that saved me. They shot at us as if we were thieves.
“They were not taken to a hospital on time and Daniel died around 8am that day. He bled to death. The other victim died this afternoon (Tuesday). Because of that incident, we were not allowed to work,” a worker said.
Another worker, who claimed to have spent two years in the company, said, “Each worker usually takes away a carton of drink at the end of the year. Some production workers on afternoon duty had already taken some cartons on Friday and our bosses didn’t talk.
“Those on night duty wanted to leave with their own cartons around 5am on Saturday when the policemen started shooting. Two persons died from the injuries they sustained.
“Later, policemen attached to the company came to the gate and told their colleagues to let us go with the products.
“Most members of the management are Indians. They are treating us like slaves in our own country.”
Olufemi Osikoya, father of the late Daniel said the family was not contacted on time by the company after the shooting. He added that they had informed their family lawyer to institute a legal action against the company.
He said, “My son was a decent person. If not for some issues the family is sorting out, he was supposed to have been in a higher institution.
“He was shot in two places. Instead of them to rush him to a public hospital, he was taken to the company’s clinic.
“We were called around 7am. When I got there, he was groaning in pain and had lost much blood.
“He gave up immediately we got to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. He joined the company in December. I learnt that his colleague that was shot is also dead.”
One of the company’s receptionists, who identified herself only as Lorrita, said the official who would make an official statement on the occurrence, was not around.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Lagos, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the workers were violent.
She said, “The command received a distress call that workers of Chi Limited were disrupting business activities of the company.
“The command’s operatives were mobilised to the scene to douse tension, but the workers attacked the policemen, throwing caustic soda at them.
“As a result, one inspector suffered severe burns and he is recovering in a hospital. Why should a policeman on duty be attacked? That attitude should stop.
“Attacks on policemen are not right and must be condemned; they are also human beings with families.
“The command received the report that one person was shot dead.
“There is what we call rules of engagement and use of firearms under the police acts and regulations.
“The command has studied the situation and discovered that the personnel deployed acted in accordance with the rules.”