A Chinese firm, Inner Galaxy Steel Company Limited, yesterday denied reports by a Twitter User @ Truthfully83 that it was running a slave camp in Nigeria. The denial, contained in a statement issued by counsel to the firm, Nnamdi Ahaaiwe, described the allegation as a calculated orchestrated campaign of calumny, blackmail and demarketing of the company.
Ahaaiwe said: “In the past few days, Nigerians have been scandalised, alarmed and agitated by a post by an unnamed, faceless individual with the Twitter handle @Truthfully83 which made very grievous, highly defamatory, false, unfounded and mischievous allegations against our clients and their Chinese employees.
“In a post, made from his Twitter handle on the 12th day of August, 2020, this individual whose identity we do not know at the moment, made unsubstantiated, damaging and incredulous allegations, which has led to public outcry and agitation from every quarter in Nigeria, including among Nigerians in the Diaspora and has exposed our clients to odium, opprobrium, hatred, harassments, threats, destruction of their business interests and psychological/mental torture.
“This individual in the said post of 12/08/2020 claimed that he embedded himself in the premises of our clients for 16 days in the course of which he made the findings published to the entire world in his aforesaid Twitter page. The kennel of the accusations this individual made against our clients can be summarissed as follows: “That our clients run a ‘MODERN DAY SLAVE CAMP’ where employees are imprisoned against their will. His exact words: ‘for over 3 months and counting, Inner Galaxy Group has been holding workers on hostage because of Covid-19 in a prison like accommodation. They locked the gates, denying workers access to go home. If you dare complain, the @PoliceNG DPO of Obehie Police Station, CSP Isiguzo will be called to arrest you’.
“That the Nigerian employees of our clients work under the ‘most dehumanising conditions known to mankind’ while the relationship between the employ-ees and our clients/their Chinese employees are like ‘a slave master relationship’. This individual further claimed that ‘Nigerians are violated and molested by their Chinese employers daily’ while ‘female counterparts are sexually assaulted without consequence’.
“He claimed that a picture which he posted which showed two feet of which the toes of the left foot was (without the legs, torso and face of the person the feet belonged to being shown or disclosed) is an unnamed employee of our clients who ‘was injured right inside the company premises, while on production duty’ and that ‘up till this moment, he has not been compensated, but has long been sacked by the company’. “This individual claimed that the Government of Abia State ‘is fully aware of these atrocities, the governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu @GovernorIkpeazu is fully aware.
In fact, the governor is a regular visitor to Inner Galaxy Group. But he chose to be silent, despite the atrocities’. This individual went further to claim that Inner Galaxy Group, has Abia State government, in its armpits in the name of ‘Employers of Labor’.”