Metro

Firm allegedly withholds dead driver’s body, denies family compensation

By BENJAMIN OMOIKE

On December 15, 2021, Oladimeji Babalola and two other drivers who worked at the airport operation section were reported to have lodged into Genesis Hotel in Ikeja.

Babalola was primarily a staff member of a firm, Xepameadow General Services. He worked under a contract with and was also a member of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers(NUPENG).

Tayo Aboyeji, chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of NUPENG, released a statement narrating the events preceding the demise of Babalola. The Trumpet gathered.

“On Sunday, 19th December, 2021, he was last seen hale and healthy as he was in the company of his colleagues lodged in the said Genesis Hotel at 16, Oba Akinjobi Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos,” Aboyeji wrote.

“But at about 5 am on Monday, 20th December, (the next day), his colleagues tried to reach him for his assignment that day through his hotel room landline and his GSM phone, but could not find him even when the phones rang out several times.”

A staffer of the hotel later informed Samuel Elijah, one of Babalola’s colleagues, that he had been found at the swimming pool.

Elijah saw the staff of Genesis Hotel pull Babalola’s body out of the swimming pool. Immediate attempts to revive him failed. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), was useless when they tried because Babalola was already dead. He had a bleeding ear and a prominent cut on his head.

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“The Genesis staff then transferred the body to the swimming pool dressing room. The police were invited by the management of the hotel. The management of the hotel was thereafter, requested to play the CCTV camera for footage of what actually happened, but the management told them that the CCTV was not working,” NUPENG’s statement read.

NUPENG has asked the police to investigate the actual cause of death of their member. His colleagues insist they are dissatisfied with the reactions of both Chevron and the police.

“There was an autopsy, but we looked at it and we as a union (NUPENG) are not satisfied with the report of the autopsy,” Osaebu Anthony Usoni, chairman, Chevron branch of NUPENG said on Monday.

“He died under mysterious circumstances. The circumstances that led to his death are under suspicion so we need the police to conclude their investigation before we can call for anything. The police has not finished investigating, according to them, that is why the corpse is still in the mortuary.

“I am the branch chairman of the company that he works (for the union). We are in contact with the police. Once they conclude, they will call us.”

Usoni talked about the delay and expressed the dissatisfaction of NUPENG in the investigations which have dragged into a third month.

“We are not really satisfied with how far the police have gone because they are slow. So we have petitioned the report and reached out to the commissioner of police to look into it,” Usoni revealed.

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