A 34-year-old woman, Mrs. Alexandra Ossai, has accused her Lebanese boss, Kaveh Noine, of causing her to lose her seven-month-pregnancy after he kicked her in the stomach.
Ossai, who until December 13, 2013, was a supervisor with a Lebanese owned firm, Toppan Printing Company, alleged that Noine assaulted her many times during her eight months stay at the company.
Currently at a private hospital in the Fagba area of Lagos State, Ossai told PUNCH Metro that she had undergone emergency surgery four days after the kick to save her life as her placenta was said to have been damaged.
She said, “I started working at Toppan in April. I earn N17,000 salary and work from Monday to Saturday. Anytime Noine was annoyed, he would beat the person he was angry with. Sometimes, he would throw whatever he can lay his hands on at the person. Prior to that incident, Noine had slapped me many times.
“Noine had said he would hold me responsible for the shortcomings of the people I supervised. As a result, I often assisted my subordinates in their duties to make sure that Noine had nothing to complain about.”
Ossai said on December 12 2013, Noine had flown into a rage when he noticed something on the floor in her section.
“It was a container for a drug. That is what we do; we produce packets for drugs and perfumes. So when Noine saw one of such packets on the floor, he was so angry that he gave me a blow to the chest,” she recalled.
She said Noine subsequently went into his office and typed a termination letter for Ossai, which she refused to sign. Her refusal allegedly enraged him further and after verbally abusing her, he was said to have told her that it was her last warning.
The following day, Ossai ran into Noine while coming from his secretary’s office. Noine allegedly dragged Ossai back to the office and called her a wicked woman.
Ossai said, “He said I looked like a mad person. After abusing me, he hit me on my neck twice. Then, without warning, he kicked my stomach with his knee. Some co-workers were there but they did not intervene. I felt a sharp pain in my stomach.”
The mother of one, whose younger brother and sister also worked in the same company, said she prevailed on her siblings not to attack Noine when they heard the news.
“I never for once told my husband what I was going through at work. I didn’t want him to come and fight Noine. I pleaded with my siblings not to fight,” Ossai said.
Although the pains eventually subsided after two days, it was learnt that in the early hours of Monday, Decemebr 16, 2013, Ossai began to bleed. She was rushed to a private clinic at Fagba. She was told that her placenta had been damaged as a result of the kick and that she had to undergo emergency surgery to save her life.
She said, “I didn’t know that my baby had died until two days after the surgery. I was told my baby lost his face too due to the kick.”
She said a report was made at the Area F police command the following day by her aunt, Mrs. Olabisi Jaiyeoba.
Jaiyeoba said, “When Ossai’s husband and I were refused entry into the company, we went to report to the police. They accompanied us there and even had to force their way in. The administrative manager lied that Noine had travelled out of the country. But as of that Tuesday, he was still in the country. It was later that we learned that he travelled last Friday.”
Efforts to get a response from the Deputy Manager of Toppan printing Company, Mr. Abass Al-Souki, proved abortive as his phone number indicated that it was unreachable.
However, the admin manager, who declined to identify herself, told PUNCH Metro that the factory was closed for the Christmas holidays.
She said, “We closed for the holidays last Friday and would reopen on January 8 2013. I would not like to speak on that matter because it is already with the police. Also our company lawyer is on it. You can only get across to our management in January 2014.”
Legal counsel for Toppan, Mrs. Nnebe, said that she could not comment on the matter.
She said, “It would be best if you wait for the police to conclude their investigation. Ossai has only made an allegation. Let the police finish their investigation and then we would give our response.”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, said, “The incident which occurred on Thursday was not reported to the police until Tuesday. It took about five days before it was reported. So when the police arrived at the suspect’s workplace, they were informed that he had travelled. It took a long time for the complainant to report the matter. But we are investigating.”
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