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‘We are not culpable’, Chinese company breaks silence on death of Abia lady

Inner Galaxy Steel Company, Umuahala-Obuzor in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, has reacted to the death of Miss Ocheze Ogbonna, one of…

Inner Galaxy Steel Company, Umuahala-Obuzor in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, has reacted to the death of Miss Ocheze Ogbonna, one of its staff who worked as a crane operator.

Ogbonna was allegedly killed by a Chinese national who wanted to be in a relationship with her.

Chris Nkwonta, the member representing Ukwa East/Ukwa West Federal Constituency of Abia State in the House of Representatives said the deceased died after a Chinese expatriate working at the company located in Umuahala-Obuzor pushed her down from the crane for rejecting his love advances.
The Federal lawmaker expressed deep sadness over the death of his constituent, Ocheze, describing the alleged action of the Chinese expatriate as wicked.

While maintaining that his constituency is known for peace, the federal lawmaker demanded justice for the victim.
“Miss Ocheze Ogbonna’s death orchestrated by a Chinese expatriate is a gross abuse of the rules of engagement and a total disregard for the sanctity of human life and an affront on their host community, Umuahala-Obuzor and the peace loving people of Ukwa West Local Government Area.”
“This barbaric act once again calls to mind the incessant calls by well-meaning Nigerians that the Chinese expatriates operating in Nigeria do not have regard for human lives and must be called to order immediately to avert the breakdown of law and order.
“I strongly condemn the dastardly act and brutal killing of late Miss Ocheze Ogbonna by the Chinese expatriate who has been identified as Mr Power,” he said in a statement.
But reacting, Inner Galaxy Steel Company, in a statement on Wednesday by Mr. Ceng Jing, its Public Affairs Manager, dismissed the allegations.
Jing said the late Ogbonna fell asleep while operating the crane, leading to her tragic fall.
The statement reads: “We are making this statement to address the tragic incident that occurred at our facility in Ukwa Local Government, Abia State, resulting in the accidental death of our staff member, Miss Vivian Ocheze Munachim, a crane operator.

“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 falling down. 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 and stormed the company, looting and burning, Leading to the escalation of the crisis. Our warehouse, production line, oxygen station, vehicles and other facilities and equipment were vandalized or stolen.
“We have heard rumors being spread that a Chinese staff was making love advances to the deceased, Miss Munachim, however, there is no evidence whatsoever that a Chinese staff was having a relationship with the late crane operator.

“It is unfortunate that this misinformation has caused an outbreak of violence. 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 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’s 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.”

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