The death of a dockworker simply identified as Comrade Billy Jackson at ENL Terminal, Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) continues to raise more controversy as the P&I company’s report states that there was neither trace of blood nor any accident when Jackson died on Monday morning aboard a ship, MV Nautical Hilary, which berthed at ENL.
While one of the dockworkers asserted that the deceased had been found dead with blood stains all over his work-suit prompting suspicion about an accident, the ENL management and the vessel’s report state that Billy Jackson slumped and died on the deck of the vessel without any record of accident.
According to his colleagues, Jackson who hailed from Cross River State, in his late 30’s was said to have been complaining about his state of health in the early hours of the day before boarding the vessel laden with bulk ceiling board.
According to one of the late dockworker’s colleagues, “we met Jackson lying down aboard the vessel with his hand wrapped with cloth on his head, soaked with blood stains all over his overall”
“He has been complaining of chest pain yet no attention was given to him before boarding the ships. We tried as much as we could to resuscitate him but it was already too late even when the ambulance came there was no oxygen to fix on our colleague”, they said.
It was also gathered that the late dockworker had dip cut on his head aboard the ship which was discharging its cargoes at Berth 12 of the terminal.
Meanwhile, the lawyer to ENL Consortium, Boye Izamot told MMS Plus that Billy Jackson’s death wasn’t as a result of negligence on the part of the company, ENL.
“We have three retainership hospitals and two resident nurses who were duly trained and registered. There was no accident as some news sources are reporting. The young man came to work that morning and didn’t complain to any of the company’s authority that he wasn’t feeling well”
Izamot also showed our correspondent the report by the vessel’s P&I which stated that the deceased died on the deck without any trace of blood or accident. According to the report, Billy Jackson had slumped and died next to a plate of food he had just bought for breakfast.
Izamot also stressed that all staff of ENL are insured as he showed MMS Plus documents to prove that Billy Jackson was insured.
However, the pictures of the deceased were not in the photographs that illustrate how and where Jackson died and his colleague’s assertion that Billy Jackson was found dead soaked in blood remains a mystery.
In his reaction, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju expressed grief as he told our correspondent that he believed in the authority’s account that Billy Jackson died a sudden but normal death.
“My principal officer in-charge of the terminal told me that there was nothing like traces of blood. He said the young man was healthy and there was no accident, neither was there blood on his head. He was probably going about his normal duty when he slumped and died.
“I think what happened was a natural death as there was no accident on that vessel. I have the supervisory report of what happened on that vessel and it doesn’t record any accident. Jackson was seen in the morning and normal posting was done for him to go onboard to work”, Adeyanju said.
It was also learnt that the death of Comrade Jackson grounded operational activities at the terminal on Monday, but workers resumed operations on Tuesday at about 1pm.
The late dockworker until his death worked with Toebef Stevedoring Company under ENL and was said to have put in over a decade of service with the company.