The police in Ondo State have begun investigation into the death of three timber traders, who allegedly died as a result of toxic waste in Okitipupa Local Government Area of the state.
The victims, Monday Akinmusire, Samuel Louis and Ododolewa Adebowale, were found dead last week Wednesday after inhaling toxic waste dumped inside the forest by a manufacturing company.
Speaking on Monday, Chairman of Ondo/Linyi Industrial Hub, Mr Alex Ajipe, said the autopsy of the deceased was being carried out to ascertain the real cause of their deaths.
Ajipe said the company decided to challenge the police to do its job without any bias and sentiment on the investigation into the death of the three men.
He said, “The police have stepped into the case and we are already awaiting the result of the autopsy.
“Although we all appreciate everyone for their concerns, we have also challenged and asked the police to do a thorough investigation of the case and come out with facts.”
He explained that the industrial hub was managing over seven different companies, noting that their activities were also being monitored by both state and national agencies in charge of environmental control.
While explaining that all companies in the hub had been complying with the rules provided by the environmental agencies, Ajipe said there were certain companies, who run foul of the regulations set down for operating in the area.
“All agencies in charge of environmental control in Nigeria have their presence in the hub and all companies within the hub have no choice than to comply with all the rules and regulations as laid down by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I am stating here categorically that none of the companies here can dare to do what runs contrary to the dictates of our laws.”
Tee-Leo Ikoro, spokesperson for the Ondo State Police Command, could not be reached for reaction at the time of this report.
However, police sources confirmed that autopsy result was being awaited to verify the true cause of the deaths of the deceased.
Two timber traders in the area, Tayo Ajibade and Idowu Opeyemi, described the incident as an accident, adding that the tragedy had not stopped their activities.