Nigerians Saving Nigerians: www.nigerianssavingnigerians.org
Employees of a Lagos state, Nigeria based packaging and printing company, Toppan Packaging Company Limited were shocked by an unfortunate and avoidable event that occured on Friday, December 13, 2013.
Kaveh Noine, a Lebanese and a shift manager with Toppan Packaging Company Limited battered and assaulted the cleaning unit supervisor, Mrs. Alice Ossai in their presence because of her failure to properly supervise the cleanliness of a portion of the factory which was littered with dirt.
Ossai, who was afraid attempted to explain why the portion of the factory was littered with dirt but Noine ignored her explanation and angrily asked her to come with him to his office; other staff members went in with Ossai in a bid to collectively explain the supposed negligence of duty. Noine ignored their entreaties for leniency in his office; he struck Ossai several times with his hands and kicked her indiscriminately including her stomach. Ossai was seven months pregnant during this beating.
Like many Nigerians working in unhealthy workplace environments, Ossai was afriad and took as fate what had occured to her even though she complained to her close friends that she was experiencing pain, she proceeded to continue her duties to her employer. Ossai was determined to secure her job and that of two of her siblings who also works for the company.
However, when news of her assault reached her two siblings; they wanted to retaliate on her behalf but Ossai discouraged them from battering Noine, reminding them of the sufferings they may mutually bear if they lose their twelve thousand naira ($75) month salary. Also, Ossai reminded them of their joint responsibility to take care of their sick and elderly mother.
On Monday, December 16, 2013, Ossai while fulfilling her duties to her employer, kept experiencing intense pain and could not bear the pain any longer; she leaned on the mop stick and held her stomach. By 10 pm on Monday, she noticed blood stain on her underwear and blood continuously flowed out of her.
Family members quickly took her to a hospital near her house: Glorious Mercy Hospital where a cesarean section was carried out on Ossai. The diagnosis by the medical director on Ossai revealed that the Placenta progressively detached from the walls of Ossai’s Uterus, thereby oxygen and other vital nutrients were denied her fetus in the days after the assault, hence the need to evacuate and save Ossai’s life.
Family members of Mrs. Alice Ossai wanted Noine held lawfully accountable for the occurence. Policemen from the Lagos State, Nigeria Area F Police Command went to the office of Toppan Packaging Company to effect his arrest. But the effort was not fruitful as Noine was said to have travelled to Canada on an official assignment. The investigative team of a newspaper in Nigeria, National Daily newspaper discovered that Noine was indeed in the office when a team of policemen from the Lagos State Area F Police Command visited the office of Toppan Packaging Company in order to effect his arrest. He hid in one of the neglected offices and snuck out through a rear gate. Staff members claimed that the police team is in collusion with the management of Toppan Packaging Company as they did not conduct a thorough search of the office despite a tip given to them regarding his location.
Ossai’s family members refused to leave the area around the property of the company because they wanted justice. The management of Toppan Packaging Company reportedly secured the services of a team of policemen – State Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in order to forcibly disperse them on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.
Sources say Noine assaults staff members weekly; on Saturday, December 7, Noine slapped and kicked an employee named Ayo Philips whom he dismissed and did not pay monies due to him.
Ossai, under intense strain, stated to National Daily newspaper from the hospital where she was receiving care, “It is the consideration for survival and the pervasive unemployment in the country that made me stomach the assault and the insult; I considered the fact that I am a casual worker and I have a sick and aged mother to take care of, I was expecting my baby in couple of weeks, I need money to take care of my delivery and the expected child, even when my siblings with whom I worked together in the company were going to have a showdown with Noine I stopped them, I even went to work the following day in pains till I almost collapsed on the factory floor on Monday.
Now I have lost on all fronts; I lost the baby, I lost the job, my health is in jeopardy and my spouse and I are in debt due to Noine’s assault. Now my family members are running from pillar to post to raise the money to pay for the cesarean section, I learnt I was given several pints of blood and I have received other drugs and medications.”
The spouse of Alice, Elvis Ossai also stated in an emotional manner, “I make bold to say to Nigerians that they connived with the management of Toppan Packaging Company to shield a foreigner who beat up a Nigerian in her own country from facing justice. The assault on my wife led to the loss of a seven month pregnancy; instead of a naming ceremony, we just conducted a funeral. We were denied the joy of parenthood just as we were looking forward to it.”
President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria released a statement through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity about this sad occurence.
He stated, “President Jonathan shocked by reports of pregnant Nigerian worker losing baby after being beaten up by Lebanese employer orders.”
“President Jonathan orders Police, Ministers-Interior, Labour, Women, Health & NHRC to investigate for sanctions and remedial action.”
Below are pictures from the unfortunate occurence. Viewer discretion is advised.
Mrs. Alice Ossai at the hospital
Picture of fetus lost