An officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr. Innocent Oshemi, yesterday shot and killed another NSCDC personnel and wounded a Korean employee at the fabrication and integration yard of the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) located at the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) Free Zone, The Guardian reports.
The guard killed the colleague following an argument. Shortly afterwards, he opened fire on the Korean who had been operating a crane. Eyewitnesses said the Korean was not involved in the original altercation. The incident happened around 1:53 p.m.
Oshemi moved towards the exit of the yard but was stopped by guards and other Korean employees. Their bravery was said to have prevented the gunman from inflicting further harm on other employees in the area.
The gunman was taken into police custody while the Korean employee underwent hours of surgery in a hospital, having sustained serious injuries.
A female employee who spoke off the record complained: “LADOL armed guards are supposed to be properly trained to protect Nigerian and foreign workers. SHI had previously argued against having armed guards at the yard, as it posed an unnecessary risk to employees due to insufficient training of guards.”
Another eyewitness said: “It is vital that those responsible for such a serious failing that has resulted in death and serious injury are held to account. This was a violent act in a free zone, which is supposed to be a safe zone for foreign nationals, investors and Nigerian workers conducting their daily business. Zone operators, like LADOL, should have measures in place to ensure the safety and security of all their subleases at the zone and if those measures fail there should be contingencies.”
In a statement issued yesterday, Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria confirmed that one of its Korean employees was critically injured after being shot by an armed guard. It disclosed that it has arranged medical care for the employee.
“We give thanks to the quick-thinking and bravery of the employees who apprehended the rogue LADOL employee. Samsung will conduct a full investigation and demand answers from LADOL as to how this employee was screened, and what protection it can offer to workers within the LADOL Free Zone who are now extremely concerned for their safety and welfare,” the company said.
It added: “Samsung is working with the international SOS service and the Korean embassy in Nigeria to ensure that proper medical care is provided to the employee and that his family have all the support it needs. We have already started our own investigation into what happened. We will be encouraging the Nigerian authorities and the Korean embassy to commence a full and thorough investigation into this terrible incident.”
Meanwhile, SHI has excused all its employees from work till further notice. “SHI plans to issue a claim of damages and will request compensation on behalf of the victim as well as commercial loss,” the company noted.
Lagos State commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Tajudeen Balogun, told The Guardian via telephone that he could not comment, as the matter was beyond his “scope of operation.”
He asked that inquiries be directed to the corps headquarters in Abuja.
NSCDC spokesman, Emmanuel Okeh, said Commandant General Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu expressed regret over the incident.
He said in a statement: “The boss, at a briefing of the management team of the corps in Abuja, said an ugly incident occurred as a result of an accidental discharge by a personnel, which led to some casualties involving another personnel of the corps and a Korean who is currently receiving treatment at the hospital.
“He received the information with a heavy heart. In view of that, he commiserates with the family of the deceased and the injured. He expressed rude shock over the incident despite various warnings by management against such acts of negligence and carelessness. He assured the public that adequate punitive action would be taken against the officer involved to avert a reoccurrence and serve as a deterrent to other personnel
“An investigation into the remote causes of the incident is ongoing as a committee has been set up to critically look into the matter. The officer involved has already been stripped of his arms and is currently under detention, pending the outcome of the report of the committee.”