Magboro, Ogun State, William Ekanem, is in pain after his spinal bone
was allegedly damaged by his Chinese boss, identified as Master Wan.
Wan, who is skilled in kung fu, had demanded to see a bag of rice which
Ekanem bought from a foodstuffs seller, identified as Iya Melo, on the
premises of the company.
Ekanem said he was leaving when Master Wan allegedly gave him a kick in
the back, which sent him sprawling on the ground.
reported at the Ibafo Police Station, the Divisional Crime Officer
allegedly took a N50,000 bribe from the Chinese company.
January 7, 2007 and rose to become a foreman, overseeing black workers
in a department of the company. Despite working for long, my salary is
only N34,000. I don’t have an identity card and I am not a member of
staff just like the rest of the over 300 workers at the company.
the foodstuffs seller on the premises to give me rice and groundnut oil
on credit pending when we would be paid our salaries at the end of the
office when Master Wan demanded to know what was inside the bag. Because
he didn’t understand English, I simply said, ‘rice, chop-chop’.
checked it. I protested against the action. He hit me in the chest as I
collected my bag from him. I was walking away when he suddenly gave me a
kung fu kick from the back. I fell. He charged at me with his foot and
pinned me to the ground. I lay on the floor and started groaning with
pain as some people came to drag him away from me.”
company gave Ekanem N10,000 for his medical expenses, while the
company’s Nigerian manager, identified only as Lekan, assured the
hospital that Bedmate would pay for all the expenses.
following Monday, it was learnt that the result of a test he did showed
his spinal cord had “shifted”.
N34,000 salary. When I got there, they gave me N24,000 and said they had
removed the N10,000 they gave me for my feeding and treatment at the
hospital.. I broke down in tears at the company. I could not believe
they could treat me so shabbily. I left in anger. I was thinking about
the situation on the road when I slumped,” he added.
kept waiting for over two hours on the company premises as Lekan, the
Nigerian manager, reprimanded Ekanem for inviting the police.
promised to bring Master Wan to the station by 10am the following
Monday. He followed us back to the station and promised the DCO that he
would personally bring the man. He gave the DCO N50,000 in our
presence,” the victim said.
on Monday, Lekan, the Chinese head of the company and others arrived at
the station without the suspect.
were his son, would he say such a thing to me? Shortly after, the
Chinese head asked me and my brother to excuse them. As we were stepping
out, I sighted him giving the DCO another envelope.
started an argument with them. The lawyer threatened to report the DCO
to the Area Command and transfer the case from the division,” the
to have pressured Ekanem to drop the case, saying he could not fight
the Chinese company due to his poor background.
hungry that I looked malnourished. He said the company had instructed
that I should spend N100,000 on my feeding, and take N34,000 as my
salary. He said I could return to work afterwards. My lawyer disagreed
with him and expressed disgust over my treatment,” he added.
Area Commander, Shagamu Command, accused the company of attempting to
suppress justice in a case of assault occasioning harm, inhuman
treatment and discrimination.
emaciated, suffering several pains at the back and dying gradually as a
result of the attack on him by the Chinese man. We believe that the
spinal cord of our client is now seriously affected. We consider the
action of Master Wan as cruel, wicked and an attempt to subject the life
of our client to the sacred form of sadism,” the letter read in part.
Hospital, according to Emeruwa, revealed that Ekanem suffered “loss of
lumbo, sacral curvature, and associated muscular spasm resulting in his
inability to walk, bend and flex.”
Divine Touch Hospital, said for the two weeks that he treated Ekanem,
Bedmate did not pay him anything, adding that instead, he spent his
personal money on the patient.
that there is a loss of curvature. The effect of that is that there is a
problem with his mobility. He cannot stand straight or walk freely. I
brought in a physiotherapist for the treatment. What he actually needed
was to complete his treatment which will span for a month.
other treatment. The physiotherapist charged N100,000 for one month and
two weeks treatment.
N10,000 for him. Nobody has given me anything. I was even the one
feeding him. I gave him N500 every day.”
hospital, who did not want to be identified, said the victim was not
exaggerating the effect of the assault.
insisted that the victim was pretending, adding that he could not talk
about the incident.
was not there when it happened between them. The only thing I know is
that the guy is pretending,” he said.
said, “It is unbelievable that these Chinese men can come to our country
and treat us as they like. Can you imagine that up till now, the police
have not arrested this man? They don’t even care.”
Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the Divisional Police Officer of the
Ibafo Police Station was on special duties in Maiduguri.
the officers at the station. I will get back as soon as I get a
feedback from Ibafo,” he added.