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Father demands answers to son’s mysterious death

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The mysterious death of 27-year-old Maduabuchi Uzoh, a final year Higher National Diploma (HND) student of Yaba College of Technology.

The mysterious death of 27-year-old Maduabuchi Uzoh, a final year Higher National Diploma (HND) student of Yaba College of Technology at his Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) office in Gbagada, Lagos State, has raised some questions amongst family members and the human rights community.
 
Uzoh, a resident of 6, Oluwaseyi Street in Ilaje, Ebute-Meta West, had left home for work on February 13, 2018 but did not return home. Uzors’s father, Mr. Okoro Uzor, had received a call from his son’s office that he had an accident and was rushed to the hospital.
 
According to him, on reaching the hospital, the hospital management informed him that his son was brought in dead. “After receiving the call that my son had an accident, I rushed to R. Jolad Hospital at New Garage, Gbagada, where I was informed that my son was brought in dead from his place of work by his colleague, while the secondary cause of death is electrocution as recorded in the medical report by Dr. L.M. Agarry, a medical doctor at the hospital.
 
“All my efforts to get details of the accident proved abortive, as the company was not ready to disclose any information on the primary cause of death. Even the bag containing his work and school identity card and work instruments, which he used on that fateful day was not given to the family until we threatened to take up the case with them. Since then, they have been returning his belongings in batches to the family while some are still in their custody,” father of the deceased said.
 
Counsel to Okoro, Mrs. Ene Sarah Unobe, told The Guardian that the company promised that compensation would be paid through the pension manager, “but nothing has been heard from them since the incident took place,” she said.
 
Unobe, who is the founder of International Centre For Human Rights, Non-Violence and Safety Awareness, added: “When we received this report on March 16, we contacted the Human Resources Department of KFC, we were informed that it is only the deceased and God that could tell what actually happened to him on that day.

“Meanwhile, there are different versions of the story. Some say Uzoh was working on a newly acquired Ice Cream machine that he was not trained to handle before he fell down and died, while others said it was a naked electric wire in the workplace that electrocuted him. The whole thing is a mystery to us. We believe the cause of death was an occupational hazard that occurred within the company due to unsafe work environment.”
 
When contacted, the KFC Restaurant Manager in Gbagada, Miss Joy Ejim, simply said: “I am new to this branch, I don’t have the full details.” She, however, referred The Guardian to the Human Resources Manager, Ayo Olanrewaju, who insisted that the death was not mysterious.
 
According to Olanrewaju, “what makes the death mysterious? Is there no death certificate?” When asked why the company failed to report the matter at the police station, he simply said:


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