The last has not been heard of Inner Galaxy Company, a Chinese steel manufacturing company located in Umuahala community in Ukwa West local government area of Abia State where a female worker identified as Miss Vivian Ocheze Munachi Ogbonna was pushed down recently from upstairs and she passed away on the spot.

Some of the past workers of the company have narrated how Nigerian employees were subjected to sexual exploitation, torture, unfair labour practices, inhuman treatment and summary dismissal.

A chat sighted by our correspondent revealed where a suspected boss was telling a female worker to have sex with him so that her sufferings in the company would be over and she would be able to live a good life.

The workers told ABN TV that the expatriates subjected the Nigerian female workers to a series of sexual exploitations and those who did not yield to their advances were asked to leave the company without any consideration.

They accused one Jacky a Human Resources/Admin manager of the company of issuing threats and intimidations and will, noting that they are not properly documented at the point of employment through appointment letters and conditions service.

Another Chinese, Bob working in P.R.O section was also accused of molesting and penalizing Nigerian workers in the company, reducing their pay which is pegged at N1,000 per day at the slightest provocation. He was also accused of using Nigerian soldiers to intimidate, harass and manhandle workers.

An aggrieved worker who pleaded anonymity said, “No offer letter for those working, not complete paper for the expatriate, they don’t follow the Nigeria Labour Law of employment and redundancy, Discrimination, assault and racism is the other of the day, injured workers are not paid promptly and they will be forced to resume work even when they are not certified fit by the Doctor

“Apart from that, liquids from the cooked steel are poured on workers and they are disabled for life without any form of compensation. It is a very hostile place to work. Please we need help.”

Apart from Inner Galaxy Steel Company, other Chinese companies operating in Ukwa that are guilty of unfair treatment against their Nigerian employees include, Starich, Neway Power Technology and Juizeng.

A former employee who worked in human resources department narrated his experience to ABN TV and he said, “We had cases of forceful working conditions where factory workers were made to work extra hours with no pay nor feeding and we had to use extra means to provide feeding for the workers out of our own discretion when the complaints come in.

“Workers are forced to work with no provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) or replacement of old ones and when they complain they are sacked with the claim of disobeying and or insubordination.

“The security personnels are oriented to always manhandle the workers to instill fear and force them to always do the bidding of the Chinese boss even though it is unpleasant.

“Not to mention numerous harassments which became a habit for most Chinese expatriates, as they hit Nigeria workers at will and when you try to fight back they use security force to still flog and sack.

“They operate hidden mining facilities, high acid exposure areas, which are all non accessible to inspection. It is so sad that They use our own Military to cover these illegal acts.

“They are aware of the difficulty in securing jobs in our country so workers are often threatened with “you have no choice approach,””

How Miss Vivian Ocheze Munachi Ogbonna Lost her Life

Meanwhile, Abia State Police Command has confirmed the arrest of a Chinese expatriate in the company, one Mr. GZ Zhen who allegedly caused the death of Miss Vivian Ocheze Munachi Ogbonna.

Zhen was alleged to have attacked the female crane operator during a night shift duty at the company after she rejected his sexual advances. The female operator sustained injuries which led to her death.

ABN TV gathered that the deceased was allegedly involved in a romantic relationship with the so-called Chinese boss, Mr G.Z. Zhen.

Mr Zhen is the manager of Inner Galaxy, a steel manufacturing company.

A security source who was on duty when the incident occurred, authoritatively told ABN TV that the problem started after late Miss Ocheze informed her Asian boss that she was pregnant for him following their well-known sexual escapades.

According to the source, her Chinese lover who was not happy with the news blatantly refused to accept responsibility for the pregnancy, an action which infuriated Ocheze.

Serious argument which later resulted to a physical fight, the source further revealed, erupted between the two love birds following the unyielding disposition of the Chinese national.

The source also revealed that while the fight was going on in one of their lovey-dovey rendezvous said to be upstairs, the Chinese boss angrily pushed Miss Ocheze down and she land crashed on heavy metals and stones.

She died on the spot. ABN TV also obtained a picture of the crime scene which cannot be shared publicly because of its gory nature.

The community youths have staged a peaceful protest, demanding justice for the deceased but were reportedly intimidated by soldiers who are safeguarding the facility.

Mr Boniface Nwaigwe, the Secretary General of Asa Development Union who confirmed the unfortunate incident said military operatives shot one of the youths during a protest at the company and the victim is currently in critical condition.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Abia Command, ASP Maureen Chinaka, who confirmed to ABN TV that Zhen is in police custody, added that an investigation has commenced on the matter.


Alleged Brutal Killings and Shooting in Asa

The member representing the Ukwa East/Ukwa West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Chris Nkwonta has however alleged that his constituents are being killed by the Chinese company and its agents.

Nkwonta in a petition addressed to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas alleged that the peace and security of his Constituency has come under serious threat as a result of the activities of the company.

The petition titled, “Cases of brutal killings and shooting of Asa people by the Chinese and their Agents at Inner Galaxy Steel Company Limited, Umuahala Asa in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Ukwa East/Ukwa West Federal Constituency, Abia State, signed by the Acting President General, Asa Development Union ADU, Barr. Godson O.C. Ihenko and the Secretary-General, Sir Boniface U. Nwaigwe, prayed the House of Representatives to unravel the circumstances surrounding the painful and unfortunate deaths of Miss Ocheze Ogbonna and Mr Chimobi Dikeji and ensure that the culprits are brought to justice.

The Union also prayed the House to compel the company to give the deceased befitting burials, and provide adequate financial compensation to their families.

“We pray also that the soldier who shot at Mr. Light Chimeko Ahuruonye Nwachukwu with a gun be revealed and brought to book. Moreso, Inner Galaxy Steel Company should be made to fly our brother, Mr. Light Chimeko Ahuruonye to Britain, United States of America or Canada for proper medical examination and intervention. We urge the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House to consider the plights of over one thousand Nigerian workers in that company and ensure that the company takes adequate steps at improving their welfare/well-being as well as provide safe working environment for them” the petition adds.

The petition came after locals were allegedly shot by a soldier guarding the premises of the Inner Galaxy Steel Company during a protest after the killing of Miss Ocheze Ogbonna by his boss.

One Mr. Light Nwachukwu was said to have been shot while protesting alongside others. His wife, Mrs. Ijeoma Light Nwachukwu, has lamented that since she has been at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, taking care of her husband, the cost of medical treatment for him has continued to rise, adding that she was not sure of the fate of their three children left at home.

She called on the governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to her aid, as she does not want to become a widow at a very young age.

Narrating what happened, the younger brother of the victim, Mr. Chikodi Nwachukwu stated that when it was reported that a Chinese working at the lnner Galaxy had pushed their sister to death, they rushed to the company to find out what exactly had happened.

He said further that it was in the course of a peaceful protest that a soldier attached to the company shot at his defenceless brother without provocation.

Inner Galaxy Steel Company Still in Operation Despite FG’s Order

The Inner Galaxy Steel Company has continued to operate in spite of a prohibition order from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, had, in a letter to the Managing Director of Inner Galaxy Company Limited, dated May 23, 2024, signed by Mrs Adogu Lauretta Nneka, the Director of Factories of the Federation on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity, issued a prohibition notice to the company as a result of the incident.

“On Monday, 20th May, 2024, there was an accident in your factory premises at Ukwa West Local Government Area, involving a female crane operator, OCHEZE OGBONNA which resulted to her death and the subsequent death of two (2) other persons in your premises.

“Your premises is hereby prohibited from further operations, pending full compliance with the provisions of the Factories Act CAP F1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 and other extant Labour Laws.”

Instead of the authorities of Inner Galaxy complying with the order from the Federal Government, they used a vehicle to block the spot where the Prohibition Notice was pasted at the entrance into their premises, and continued to allow activities go on, as usual, by allowing movements inside and outside their company from the part of the entrance not blocked by the vehicle.

After ignoring the federal government order of prohibiting the company from subsequent activities pending investigation of the company, the member representing Ukwa East State Constituency at the Abia State House Of Assembly, Hon. Godwin Adiele who again presented a matter of urgent public importance at the floor of the House tagged “Barbaric, Massacre and Slaughtering of Miss Ocheze Ogbonna, Stabbing to Death Of Chimobi Dikeji and Shooting of Light Chimek Nwachukwu by Management of Inner Galaxy Steel Company Ltd and Its Cohorts.

Adiele in his prayers to the House which includes that the House do consider the plight of thousands of Nigerian workers in that company and ensure that the company takes adequate steps at improving their welfare and as well provide a safe working environment for them amongst others.

The speaker Rt Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa after various contributions from other members of the assembly who condemned the act wholeheartedly committed the matter to an adhoc committee to investigate and reverse back to the House.

It is unfortunate that up till this moment of filling this report, nothing has been heard as to the outcome of the investigations both from the federal and the state governments,

The general public are calling on the state governor Dr Alex Otti to raise up and stand for the people of Ukwa West and the workers of the company, with the view of being the only authority that can command the sealing of the company pending when the investigation are done against his position during the last media chat with journalist in the state.

Comply With Nigeria’s Labour Laws, Deputy Speaker To Foreign Investors

Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has urged offshore companies and intending foreign investors to subscribe to the Nigerian labour laws in line with international best practices while doing business in the country.

Kalu made the call when he received a delegation from Quingdao Municipal council, China led by the Chairman of the Standing Committee of Qingdao Municipal People’s Congress, Mr. Wang Luming on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Monday.

Decscribing Qingdao as the China’s powerhouse in shipbuilding and construction, the Deputy also recalled Nigeria’s diplomatic ties the Republic, saying that both countries have collaborated well on issues of mutual benefits.

Kalu said that the parliament was ready to make legislative interventions that will make the business climate more investment friendly.

He said: “The House of Representatives is eager to engage in meaningful discussions with the Qingdao Municipal People’s Congress as part of the core engagements toward actualizing the House’s 8-point legislative agenda most especially through business and investment-friendly legislative frameworks and oversight. By working together, we can unlock a future of mutual benefit.

“We believe that this meeting will help enhance our understanding of shared interests, strengthen partnerships in economic sectors, facilitate opportunities for Qingdao enterprises in Nigeria, and promote mutual understanding and friendship, laying a strong foundation for deepening bilateral relations”, the member representing Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State said.



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