ICYMI

May 23, 2024

Police investigate death of female crane operator in Chinese firm in Aba

Police

Police

. Anyone found culpable ‘ll be punished – Otti

By Steve Oko

Investigation has commenced into the death of a female crane operator in Aba, Abia State based Chinese firm, Inner Galaxy Steel Company  Nigeria limited.

Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Abia State, Moureen Chinaka, confirmed this to Vanguard in Umuahia.

She said that the incident had been reported to the command, and that investigation had commenced.

“We got a report alleging that Mr GZ ZHEN  through his actions led to the death of one of his staff by the name, Vivian Ocheze Munachi. Investigation is ongoing”, she wrote.

Meanwhile, Governor Alex Otti has said that anyone found culpable must be made to face the music.

The Governor who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma, told Vanguard that the State Government was also investigating the matter, and would not take it lightly with anyone involved in the victim’s death.

He said that Government would defend the right of every Abian and ensure that the deceased got justice.

Inner Galaxy, has however, denied that its Chinese staff was involved in death of the Nigerian female crane operator contrary to social media reports.

The company dismissed as untrue, reports that the deceased was pushed to her death from the crane she was operating by a Chinese staff of the company.

Miss Vivian Ocheze Munachim, a crane operator with the company  is reported to have  died as a result of injuries she sustained when she fell down from the crane she was operating on Tueday, May 21, 2024.

Controversy, has however trailed the cause of the accident.

In a statement made available to the media and signed by the Public Affairs Manager of the company Mr Ceng Jing, the company said  that “the unfortunate incident happened when she fell asleep while operating the crane and lost control, thereby failing down which led to her death,” noting that other Nigerian staff who witnessed the accident have made statements confirming what happened.

The statement made available to Vanguard read in part: We extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

“Regrettably, social media misinformation has spread false allegations that a Chinese staff member pushed Miss Ochieze off the crane she was operating. We want to assure the public that these claims are entirely unfounded and have been thoroughly investigated and found to be false.

“The truth is that Miss Ochieze fell asleep while operating the crane, leading to her tragic fall.  Her fellow Nigerian workers at the scene saw her falliing down and have made statements.

“Unfortunately,  instead of telling the truth, some people chose  to take advantage of the tragedy  to spread false information. Some people with sinister motives  quickly gathered together,  stormed the company, looting and burning, leading to the escalation of the crisis. 

“Our warehouse, production line, oxygen station, vehicles and other facilities and equipments were vandalized or stolen

“We  have heard  rumors being spread  that a  Chinese staff was making love advances to the deceased, Miss Vivian Ocheze Munachim, however, there is no evidence whatsoever that a Chinese staff was having a relationship with the late Miss Vivian Ocheze Munachim.

“It is unfortunate that this misinformation has caused an outbreak of violence, resulting in the vandalization of our company property. We urge the public to remain calm and allow  law enforcement agencies to conduct an independent investigation and establish the cause of death of Miss Vivian Ocheze Munachim.

“The police are currently investigating the matter, and we are cooperating with them  fully.

“We want to assure the public that Inner Galaxy Steel Co. Nig. Ltd. is not culpable in Miss Ochieze’s death. We value the safety and well-being of our employees and are committed to providing a secure working environment.

“We also want to assure the public that we are ready to perform our responsibility to the deceased family regarding this unfortunate accident. We will provide necessary support and compensation to the family, as we understand the gravity of the loss and the impact on her loved ones.

“We appreciate your understanding and support during this difficult time and urge  refrain from spreading unsubstantiated rumors and allow the authorities to complete their investigation.”

Efforts to reach the Commissioner for Trade and Investment,  Dr Chimezie Ukaegbu, were not successful as he was said to have traveled outside the country.