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FENRAD Calls for Prosecution of Mr. G. Z. Zhen Over Alleged Killing of Ms. Ocheze Ogbonna

In a fervent appeal to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Abia State, the Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD) has called for the immediate prosecution of Mr. G. Z. Zhen of Galaxy Steel Company, accused of the tragic killing of Ms. Ocheze Ogbonna. The advocacy group, known for its staunch defense of democracy, human rights, and environmental justice, has demanded urgent action to ensure justice is served.

The Incident: A Call for Justice

The call comes in the wake of a harrowing incident reported in April 2024, where Mr. G. Z. Zhen, a Chinese expatriate and employer at Galaxy Steel Company, allegedly pushed Ms. Ocheze Ogbonna off a crane, resulting in her fatal injury and subsequent death. This shocking event has added to the already controversial reputation of Galaxy Steel Company, which has previously faced accusations of worker dehumanization, particularly during and after the lockdown period.

FENRAD’s Executive Director, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, has been vocal about the need for thorough investigation and accountability. He recalls that the foundation had earlier called on state authorities, including the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, and the Commissioner of Police, to ensure justice was promptly and fairly administered. However, despite these appeals, there has been a deafening silence, with no updates on the status of Mr. Zhen.

Ms Ocheze Ogbonna who was allegedly murdered by the chinese expatriate.

Escalation and Community Unrest

The situation escalated further when the local community of Umuahala-Obuzor, the hometown of the deceased Ms. Ogbonna, erupted in protest. During the demonstrations, a local protester, Mr. Light Chimeko Ahuruonye, was reportedly shot by a security agent affiliated with Galaxy Steel Company. This incident underscores the urgent need for a transparent investigation and legal proceedings to address the grievances of the affected community.

FENRAD emphasizes that Mr. G. Z. Zhen, as an individual operating within Nigerian jurisdiction, must be held accountable under Nigerian law. The foundation poignantly points out that if the roles were reversed, with a Nigerian allegedly killing a Chinese national in China, the case would have been swiftly adjudicated, and the suspect’s fate promptly determined. This discrepancy highlights the necessity for Nigeria to assert its legal sovereignty and ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done.

The Legal and Moral Imperative

In their letter to the Attorney General, FENRAD reminds the state’s top legal authority that justice delayed is justice denied. The foundation asserts that international law mandates Mr. Zhen to be subject to Nigerian legal processes, and as such, he should face trial for the alleged crime. FENRAD is resolute in its commitment to pursuing this matter to its legal conclusion, ensuring that justice is served for the bereaved family of Ms. Ogbonna and the aggrieved community.

A Clarion Call for Action

Comrade Nwafor and Barrister Femisi Akande, Head of Corporate Accountability & Human Rights Enforcement at FENRAD, have expressed their unshakable belief in the Attorney General’s capacity to deliver justice in this critical matter. They have issued a stern warning that if there are no forthcoming updates or actions regarding Mr. Zhen or Galaxy Steel Company, FENRAD will escalate the matter legally, demonstrating that no one is above the law.

FENRAD’s Pledge

The Foundation has assured the public of its unwavering dedication to ensuring that this matter is not swept under the carpet. FENRAD’s headquarters in Aba, Abia State, remains a bastion of hope for many who seek justice and accountability in environmental and human rights issues.

As the state awaits a response from the Attorney General’s office, the call for justice for Ms. Ocheze Ogbonna rings louder, resonating with the principles of fairness and rule of law that underpin a just society.

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