Some angry workers of a snacks factory in the Ikeja area of Lagos trooped to the Ikeja Police Division on Monday to demand the release of their manager, Mr. Abu Abubakar, who was allegedly detained by the police after he reported the death of one of the factory's workers.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the worker, identified simply as Ikechukwu, slumped and died at about 6.30am on Monday while heading for a bathroom in the factory.
Our correspondent gathered that Ike, as he was fondly called, became unconscious immediately he fell and was rushed by co-workers to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. He reportedly died on the way.
It was learnt that Abubakar had headed for the police division to obthain a police report so that the corpse could be taken to a morgue.
However, after he reported the incident, it was learnt that policemen at the station detained the manager, an action which led to the angry reaction by the workers, who besieged the station.
When PUNCH Metro arrived at the station at about 12.30pm, one of the workers, who gave his name simply as Henry, explained that the deceased, who was about 23 years old, had attended a party the previous day.
He said, "Ike was loved by everyone, but he liked to party. He was both working and living in the factory. On Sunday, he returned late from a party. In the morning at about 6am, he was going to have his bath when we learnt that he fell.
"We rushed him to a hospital, but he died on the way. When the manager came to report the incident to the police, he was detained. He has not been released since then. That is why we came here to demand his release.
"Ike's corpse is still in the Keke Marwa (tricycle) that we used to rush him to LASUTH. Nobody knows what to do. The police have not said anything."
When PUNCH Metro visited LASUTH morgue, the commercial tricycle which conveyed Ike was seen, and the corpse was still in the backseat.
On Tonade Street in the Ikeja area, where the nacks factory is located, a worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that Ike's younger brother had been informed about the incident.
He said, "It is true that he came back late on Sunday. We were making snacks around 6am when we heard some noise and we rushed there.
"Although he was still breathing when we left the factory, he died on the way."
As of 1pm when PUNCH Metro left the Ikeja Police Division, the factory workers still hanged around the premises, waiting for their manager to be released from detention.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nsowu, had yet to get back to our correspondent on the matter.