Navy Denies Brutalising Construction Workers In Aba | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Navy Denies Brutalising Construction Workers In Aba

Posted: Jul 30, 2015 at 5:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Emeka Okafor  –  Aba

 

Authorities at the Naval Finance and Logistic College, Owerri-Nta in Isiala Ngwa South Council Area of Abia State have denied brutalising fifteen staff of a construction company working on a project located on Elizabeth Avenue, G.R.A., Aba close to the official quarters of the Commandant of the Naval College.

It had been reported in some media last week that some officers of the Naval School of Finance and Logistics, allegedly forced 15 workers of the company to lie in and drink mud water.

An engineer with Stock Gap Fuels Limited, building the mega petrol station/gas plant had told reporters on Tuesday morning that his staffs were manhandled by the Navy personnel.

He said he had gone to the bank to withdraw money to pay those that supplied materials when he received a telephone call reporting the development.

“It was while at the bank that I got a phone call that about 12 Naval men were maltreating workers at the site. I quickly left the bank and when I got to the site, I saw 16 of my workers, including our secretary, a female inside the mud and the naval officers stepping on them and ordering them to drink the mud water.

“I tried to approach the Commanding Officer, who was at the site giving orders to his men, he told his subordinates not to allow me get close to him and based on the instruction, his boys chased me away and I had to call my office in Port Harcourt.”

However, the Commanding Officer, Captain Simon Ejaro denied the report that he ordered his men to brutalise the workers.

He said “I observed some people working close to my official lodge, when I observed it, I tried to make enquires repeatedly and unfortunately all the time that I got in there, people I meet are only workers, what I wanted to find out is who owns this property, what is he doing with the  property.

“But unfortunately, people I met many a times are mere workers. You might not know I had no security cameras in this compound. The building posed security risk to my official lodge, because, I observe strange faces moving around in the building at odd hours.”

He said that the State government, through the Aba North Town Planning Authority, had on the 23rd /24th of March, 2015 ordered that work should be stopped at the site adding that on the 24th of July, contractors at the site came with about four heavy duty trucks loaded with mud and blocked the major carriage way leading to the Naval quarters thereby preventing movement in and out of the street including Naval operational vehicles.

The Commandant said that all efforts to get them to move the trucks proved abortive and that it took several hours to remove them from the road.

“The workers at the site were made to remove the mud they put on the road, No one asked them to drink mud water or roll in same, after all, there was no pond on the tarred road.

“I did not come out of my official vehicle which was trapped nor had ordered anyone to beat up or harassed any one’, Ejaro said.

Special Adviser to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Aba Renewal, Engineer Solomon Ogunji who visited the building project said that the State Government had ordered that work should stop at the site pending when the owner of the building comes up with legal titles and relevant documents which gave approval to the construction of the proposed Filling Station/ Gas Plant.