Chi Limited makers of fruit juice and diary products, has absolved itself of any complicity in the death of a staff of the company during a protest.
Chi Limited in a statement its Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Bode Sojobi signed blamed workers for events leading to their colleague’s death.
It said in the evening of Friday, December 30, 2016, some workers succeeded in forcefully taking away several cartons of company products, damaging company property and endangering the lives of other personnel within the premises in the process.
This unruly behaviour necessitated the company to beef up security around the factory by reporting the case to the Nigerian Police Station at Ajao Estate, who responded by placing their men outside the entrance of the factory to avert any further looting.
The statement read, “The night shift workers resumed work without any problems until around 4:30 am when some of them decided to stop work two hours to the end of the shift, switched off the lights and proceeded to cart away company’s products without authorisation.
“In the course of doing this, they attacked other personnel in the premises and police men deployed to prevent further danger to lives and property.
“The internal security personnel tried without success to persuade them to have a re-think. When they over-powered the internal security men, the members of the Nigerian Police Force at the gate stepped in to bring the situation under control.
“In the course of the encounter with the police, two of the workers sustained gunshot wounds. They were rushed to a nearby company-retained hospital for treatment.
“One of the injured workers is in stable condition in the hospital. The second injured worker was subsequently referred to a Teaching Hospital and was conveyed there in the company’s ambulance. Sadly, he later passed on.
“As an organisation that places high premium on human life, the death is immensely painful to us. Management immediately sent a delegation to condole with the family of the deceased.
“We are surprised and saddened by this event because prior to this incident there had been no dispute between the company and its workforce. We later learnt that some workers felt that there had been discrimination in the distribution of products of the company as Christmas gifts, and then decided without authorisation to take company products for themselves as their own Christmas gifts.
“We are currently engaging with all parties and stakeholders to better understand what went wrong and address any related issues.”