An Oyo State Government official has claimed that the factory management of the company where a 300-level University of Ibadan student, Gbadebo Richard, was killed, held them hostage when they tried to seal the facility to aid the investigation.
Recall that Mr. Gbadebo Richard died in an industrial accident on Monday after he fell into a soap-making machine.
Mr. Richard, 21, reportedly died after he fell into the factory’s soap-making machine while on a night shift. Nylon was said to have rolled around his hand and in the process of trying to detach himself, the nylon drew him into the machine, which was said to have crushed him.
The Permanent Secretary, Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr. Bashir Olanrewaju, told journalists and ministry officials, numbering five that they were held hostage by the factory management.
Dr. Olanrewaju led officials of the Department of Pollution Monitoring and Quality Control of the ministry to the factory at Oluyole Estate Extension, to seal it and pave way for investigation. However, some of the workers resisted the government’s move by holding them hostage for about 30 minutes, before the State Commissioner of Police, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, intervened and got them released.
Mr. Olanrewaju said, “The intention was to talk to them, not necessarily to disgrace them, as they need to be producing under a very safe environment. It was also to investigate to know how it actually happened, with a view to preventing such in the future.”
He continued, “But the management resisted our men when we got there. We were held hostage. I was one of those held hostage. We invited the police and we were rescued, when the police came. Immediately, we called the police and they rescued us.”
“We are conducting an investigation. After that, we will decide the next line of action to determine their culpability, whether the accident was preventable or not preventable, whether they made some mistakes and how the mistakes could have been prevented,” he added.