The Oyo State Government has commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of a student at the University of Ibadan, Richard Gbadebo.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Dr Bashir Olanrewaju when he led a state government delegation on a condolence visit to the residence of the bereaved family in Ibadan.
According to him, the state government has begun a safety audit of the factory and would ensure that necessary sanctions are meted out on the company upon completion of investigations.
While assuring that compensation will be given to the bereaved family, Olanrewaju said the current administration under Governor Seyi Makinde remains committed to ensuring that no resident of the state suffers injustice or undue exploitation irrespective of social status.
“We are here to condole with the parents of the deceased and to inform the family that measures are being taken by the government to ascertain the cause of Richard’s death.
“The administration of Seyi Makinde will ensure that justice is served so as to prevent the recurrence of an event like this in the future.
“So, the government will get to the roots of this gruesome incident and give due compensation to the family of the deceased,” he said.
On his part, the father of the late Richard, Mr Shola Gbadebo demanded the CCTV footage of the scenes where his son died, noting that a thorough investigation must be conducted in order to truly ascertain the cause of his death.
Mr Gbadebo insisted that before any attempt to initiate talks with the family by the management of the soap factory, the family must be assured that there was no foul play or conspiracy in his death.
“What I want to say is, the issue of compensation does not arise now. My son could become Governor or President in future if he is alive. So, I don’t care about what they will offer me.
“My appeal is that the government should assist me to pressurize the company to show its CCTV footage so that the whole world will see how my son died,” Gbadebo said.
The 21-year-old Gbadebo who was a 300-level student of the Department of European Studies, Faculty of Arts at UI died in the factory’s soap-making machine last month.