The almost seven months old face-off between former employees of ENL Consortium; a terminal operator in Apapa port and the company’s management has taken a new dimension following the invitation of executive vice chairman, Mrs Vicky Hastrup for a chat by the Police.
Mrs Hastrup was invited to the Police headquarters following allegations that were levelled against her by some of the embattled ex-employees. The allegations bordered on threat to the lives.
Trouble started between the company and the employees last year when management reportedly decided to outsource the workshop department where they were engaged.
The worker in protest were reported to have threatened to go on strike and eventually barricaded the company’s terminal in Apapa port; a development which led to the invitation of the police to arrest the situation.
On the strength of reports made by ENL in which it alleged that the protesting workers vandalised the company’s equipment and machineries in the workshop, the Police moved in, arrested and detained nine of them.
The nine were consequently remanded at the Kirikiri prison in Lagos between October 28 and December, 2008 where they allegedly paid between N200, 000 and N400, 000 before they could regain their freedom.
But, the ENL unit chairman of the shipping and courier services branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Mohammed Dungus told Shipping Position Weekly that the workers had to report the matter to the police following incessant calls from anonymous persons and alleged that on one occasion, the executive vice chairman of ENL actually called him but hid her number and that the embattled ex-workers who are still fighting for their entitlements from the company had to notify the Police.
Sources at the Lagos state command headquarters of the Nigeria Police confirmed the development, but disclosed that Mrs Hastrup was actually invited by the police in connection with the petition that was written by some people.
I can not confirm when she appeared or whether she was represented by her lawyers, but I can confirm that she was invited.
Several telephone calls that were put across to her were unanswered, but when eventually the phone was picked, a voice which identified herself as Mrs Hastrup’s personal assistant said that her boss was unavailable and that she would get across as soon as her boss was back, she never did.
The aide who identified herself as Lola however appealed to Shipping Position Weekly not to write the story.