As group blames death of 300 level UI student on poor working condition, lack of safety policy …calls on labour to fight casualisation…
Human rights groups led by the Lagos constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana have waded into the avoidable death of Richard Gbadebo , a 300-level student of the University of Ibadan who was crushed to death by machine while working on part-time at an Ibadan based soap factory.
The groups , the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond who partners with a law group, International Lawyers Assisting Workers, Oyo State chapter on Tuesday also petitioned the state government in respect of the death of the 300-level student of University of Ibadan, in a soap factory in Ibadan.
Recalled that Gbadebo, a factory worker with Henkel Nigeria Limited, reportedly slipped into a soap making machine and died on July 28 during production at the plant.
The groups, in a petition filed by Abope Chambers, led by Femi Aborisade, copies of which were sent to the Oyo State Director of Public Prosecution, accused the company of callousness and negligence in providing adequate security measures at the plant.
This, it alleged, led to the death of the deceased. It also claimed that the company failed to provide the family with details of what led to the death of their son, thereby causing additional grief to the family.
It said the failure of the company to provide the necessary Personal Protective Equipment and fencing of very dangerous part of the machine as an act of negligence.
The petition urged the state government to invoke section 211(1) and (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and institute criminal proceedings against the company and its managers in respect of the incident.
The petition read in parts, “The Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 And Beyond, Oyo State Chapter and the International Lawyers Assisting Workers represent the interest of the public and the international community of pro-labour lawyers in ensuring justice for the deceased Richard Gbadebo.
“Unless the Oyo State Government ensures justice for Richard Gbadebo, employers of labour may not take seriously the life, safety and health of workers by providing the necessary Personal Protective Equipment and fencing of every dangerous part of any machinery.
“It is the concern of our clients that Richard Gbadebo would not have been killed by the machinery he was working with if the necessary PPE was provided and the dangerous parts of the machinery were properly fenced to prevent the kind of calamity that befell Richard Gbadebo.
“The public perception is that pervasive impunity prevails in the Nigerian society because successive Nigerian governments tend to fail to act as prescribed by law where the lives of ordinary workers are concerned. It is the fervent hope of our clients that the Oyo State Government and the office of the Attorney-General would not fail Richard Gbadebo, his family and humanity in the instant case.
“The blood of Richard Gbadebo is crying for justice. Our clients demand justice for Richard Gbadebo.”