…urges Aborisade to be present at factory on visitation date
By Adeola Badru
The Federal Government has set up a commission of inquiry to critically look into the cause of death of Richard Gbadebo, the 300-level student of the University of Ibadan who died at a factory in Oluyole area of Ibadan on July 28, 2020.
A copy of the letter which conveyed the information and sent to ABOPE Chambers of the human rights activist, Mr Femi Aborisade, was made available to Vanguard.
Vanguard recalled that Aborisade, the Managing Partner of ABOPE Chambers, acting on behalf of the family of the deceased, had on August 24, 2020, written the Minister of Labour and Employment, demanding the setting up of a commission of inquiry into Gbadebo’s death.
The chambers, among others, had said: “We write this petition calling for a commission of inquiry into the horrible death of Richard Gbadebo in the course of working within the premises of HENKEL NIGERIA LIMITED AND EXPAND GLOBAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED.
“This call for a commission of inquiry is predicated upon Article 11(d) of the International Labour Organisation’s Convention No. 155 of 1981 on Occupational Health and Safety and Sections 33 to 36 of the Trade Disputes Act.”
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Acting on the letter, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in a letter titled: “Re: Accident Investigation Into the Death of Late Richard Gbadebo in the Course of Working in the Premises of Expand Global Industries LTD (Henkel), Ibadan, Oyo State,” said the Federal Government had set up the commission as demanded by ABOPE Chambers.
The letter which was signed by the Director, Occupational Safety and Health of the ministry, Mrs Nneka Adogu, on behalf of the Minister read: “Your letter dated 24th August 2020 refers, please.
“Sequel to your request for a commission of inquiry into the death of Late Richard Gbadebo, in a fatal accident that occurred at the above-named factory on 28th July 2020, and investigation of the accident by Occupational Safety and Health Department of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ibadan, a Panel of Inquiry to investigate into the fatality has been approved and set up by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment.”
“Please, be informed that sequel to the directives of the Honourable Minister, more vigorous and robust investigation into the death of the victim will be carried out on the factory premises by the Panel of Inquiry. The date for the visit of the panel members will be communicated in due course.”
While speaking on the letter, Aborisade said: “By the letter, the Honourable Minister of Labour has set up a commission of inquiry into the death of Richard Gbadebo pursuant to our Chambers’ letter dated 24/8/2020, calling for the same.
“It is a step forward in the struggle for a safe working environment in Nigeria. The setting up of the commission of inquiry may indeed be the first of its kind in the history of industrial relations in Nigeria.”