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Ikoyi Building Collapse: Another faliure by Government Officials and its Supervisory Agency

Ikoyi Building Collapse: Another faliure by Government Officials and its Supervisory Agency
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At least 50 people are reportedly trapped under the rubble after a 21-storey building collapsed in Ikoyi, Lagos State.

 

The building, located at 20, Gerrard Road, collapsed at about 3 p.m. on Monday.

 

The General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Oki, says the owner of the collapsed 21-storey building, under construction in Ikoyi, was given approval to construct only 15 floors.

 

Mr Oki told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the telephone that the owner of the property has been arrested and would face the law because people have died in the disaster.

 

“He got an approval for a 15-storey building and he exceeded his limit. I am on ground here and the materials he used are so inferior and terrible.

 

“The materials he used, the reinforcement, are so terrible. He got approval for 15 floors but built 21.

 

“I think he has been locked down. He has been arrested before now,” he said.



The GM said four people were rescued and three people died, adding that rescue efforts were still ongoing.

 

“We are still here and have four machines working as at this moment,” he told NAN.

 

Many workers are feared trapped in a 21-storey building under construction which collapsed.

Ikoyi Building Collapse: Another faliure by Government Officials and its Supervisory Agency
Ikoyi Building Collapse: Another faliure by Government Officials and its Supervisory Agency

A witness told the NAN on condition of anonymity that the building collapsed around 2.30 p.m. The witness, who is also a worker on-site, said that five dead bodies were seen at the top of the rubble of the collapsed building.

 

Earlier, emergency responders rescued two persons from the rubble.

 

NAN also saw two bodies being removed away from the rubbles shortly before emergency responders, comprising Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, National Emergency Management Agency, and Lagos Building Control Agency arrived at the building site.

A boy survived after jumping. The boy survived after jumping off the falling building into another compound.

According to an eyewitness of the collapse building, Ehunoney who also shared photo of the young boy on his page, wrote;

“This guy jumped from the collapsed building into our compound.”

 

As of 4.50 p.m. on Monday, no ‘official’ rescue operation had begun.

 

NAN reports that angry youths and some of the workers were seen doing the little they could.

 

Excavators from the relevant agencies were still been awaited as of 5.45 p.m. while crowd control remained a challenge at the scene.

 

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Emergency Agency, Nosa Okunbo, confirmed the collapse, saying, “A 25-storey building collapsed by Musliu Junction, Ikoyi, Lagos. LASEMA is on top of the situation.”

 

Also, the Director-General of LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, noted that heavy-duty equipment and life detection equipment have been deployed to the scene.

 

While giving an update, Oke-Osanyintolu said, “Collapsed Building at Gerard Road, Ikoyi: The agency has activated its emergency response plan to the above incident.

 

“All first responders are en route to secure the scene while the heavy-duty equipment and life detection equipment have been dispatched.”

 

One of the workers who survived the incident, Gabriel Bassey, said that about 50 persons were still trapped in the rubble.

 

He said, “This project, 360 Degree, was built by Fourscore Homes Limited. I was trying to plug my phone and not up to five seconds that I left the spot, I saw the building coming down and I ran to safety. We have a lot of people trapped in the rubble, who we need to bring out.



“When the incident happened, we brought out six dead bodies and we still have like 30 Togolese and Nigerian bricklayers and four engineers and other workers. My boss, Mr Femi, is still trapped in the building. He was on the 18th floor with some of his clients, who wanted to buy the building, when the incident happened.”

 

A resident, Morris Ashiobi, said the building did not show any sign before it caved in.

 

He said, “When the incident happened, I was the first person to climb the building to the last floor and I saw corpses. I started calling people to come and rescue others. We recovered six dead bodies, rescued one alive, while the rest are still under the rubble.

 

“The building didn’t give any sign, it just came down. We were still working on it. It took an hour before the emergency agencies came and we had brought out the dead bodies and rescued one person before they came. If I’m not mistaken, about 40 persons were on site, because we were working at the time. Some people came from Abuja today (Monday) to work. I have many friends still trapped in the building.

 

“When the police came, they chased us out and didn’t allow us to rescue anyone again; if they had allowed us, we would still have rescued more people.”

An eyewitness, Blessing Feyijimi, who lamented the lack of equipment by the first responders, stated that more people would have been rescued if they were better equipped.

 

He said, “When the incident happened around 1.36pm, we started rescuing people but the security men locked the gate and didn’t allow people to enter. We protested and forced our way in. We recovered four dead bodies on the last floor and rescued four injured persons; but some people are still trapped in the rubble.”

 

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, confirmed the death of five persons, adding that three others were rescued alive.

 

However, the South-West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, said four corpses were recovered from the building, adding that four were rescued alive.

 

Some relatives of the victims present at the scene were crying and refused to talk to reporters.

 

Emergency responders at the scene included the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, police, army and paramedics.

 

Moreso, the company that designed the structure and supervised the construction, Prowess Engineering Limited, said it withdrew from the project in 2020 because it no longer shared the same vision with the owners, Fourscore Heights Limited.



Documents obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday show the firm had withdrawn its services since early 2020 as stated in a letter in which the company expressed concerns over the way the project was being handled.

 

The letter is dated February 20, 2020, and titled: Re: Proposed Gerrard Terraces For Fourscore Limited.

 

Addressed to Mr Femi Osibona of Fourscore Heights Limited, 44BCD Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, the letter, signed by the Managing Director of Prowess Engineering Limited, Muritala Olawale, formally stated that the firm had withdrawn its services from the project and would not be held liable for any errors in the construction.

 

It reads, “This letter is to formally inform you of the withdrawal of our structural consultancy service from the above named project. We arrived at this decision due to the fact that we no longer share the same vision with you as our client in terms of how the project is being executed.

 

“We can guarantee the integrity of the first two buildings and also works done up to the fourth floor of the third building supervised by us provided specifications have been met in terms of the required concrete strength. This we do not have control over as we do not have the concrete cube test results for each stage of the building till date.
“Also, kindly note that we are not taking responsibilities for any other construction errors that may have occurred overtime on the project.

 

“Furthermore, we request that our company’s name and logo be removed from the project board and also kindly notify all necessary approving authorities of our withdrawal from the project.



“We regret this decision and the lost opportunity to do business together. We look forward to future cooperation in other projects.”

Ikoyi Building Collapse: Another faliure by Government Officials and its Supervisory Agency

 

COLLAPSED BUILDING DETAILS

Meanwhile, an advertorial promo of the project tagged ‘Luxury in the Sky’ reveals details of the collapsed structure.

 

It shows the project was planned for people looking to have a ‘7-star hotel experience living in the heart of Ikoyi’.

 

It says, “360 degrees offers Luxury high rise 4 bedroom maisonettes, flats, duplex and penthouses on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

 

“The 20-floor strictly residential facility is the brain-work of Fourscore Homes, evolving from a desire to build an original masterpiece. The concept is to have serviced flats in the three towers for residents to experience a stress-free lifestyle, complete with a hotel flair with a 360-degree view of Lagos State.”

 

It notes that the features include open outdoor recreation with outdoor television, gym, and swimming pool.

 

Also, according to the information provided, the expected delivery date was 2022 while the stage of development before the collapse was put at 80 percent completed.

 

At the time, 65 percent of the spaces had been sold, with the price starting from $1.2 million (about N688 million at the black market rate of N573 to $1) and the penthouse price starting from $5 million (about N2.9 billion).

Ikoyi Building Collapse: Another faliure by Government Officials and its Supervisory Agency

Meanwhile, Kunle Uthman Esq, a Legal practitioner and Member, Body of Benchers, have described the Ikoyi building collapse as another faliure by Government Officials and its Supervisory Agency.



He says, “The above subject matter refers. We all witness live on Arise and Channels television stations, the rubbles of a collapsed twenty one (21) storey building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria, and ongoing rescue exercise by several government agencies, including LASEMA.

 

“In explaining this gory incident, the General Manager Lagos State Building Control Agency said (as copiously published in Punch newspaper) that the approval for the collapsed building was fifteen (15) and not 21 floors, and admitted that poor materials were used in construction of that building, hence its collapse.

 

“This incident is an example of culpability of government officials and its supervisory agency and failure to perform their duties and responsibilities or enforcement of punitive measures in respect of a recalcitrant contractor and owners of private properties. Necessarily, it would have taken appreciable time to construct the 6 additional floors, but the Agency responsible to issue stop work order and mark the building itself for demolition chose to ignore the construction of those additional floors and therefore failed in enforcement of extanct laws.

 

“Why was a “Stop Order” not placed on this building and why was there no supervision of quality of materials as explicitly stated in several building control laws and legislation in the State. In this particular instance, which has resulted in fatality and deaths, the officials of the Lagos State Government responsible, especially the Lagos State Building Control Agency are culpable and should be prosecuted immediately, forthwith and without delay.

 

“This particular incident is a glaring example of officials of the government of Lagos State, compromising their duties and responsibilities for consideration. What is this hype of Centre of Excellence all about, if a 21 Storey building in highbrow Ikoyi will collapse as a result of negligence of irresponsible public officials, who earn salaries and whose lifestyles are maintained at the expense of the taxpayers?



“We cannot continue like this, as apparently corruption and avarice has become not a social malaise but constitute our DNA. This incident is a “shame of a nation” state, unwarranted, unsolicited, irresponsible, insensitive, unfair, unjust and indeed criminal and even the Federal government should ensure that the global community do not see us as a lawless society, where public officials are allowed to go scot-free, when culpable or negligent in the performance of their duties.

 

“The General Manager of that Agency has by his own statement that approval was for 15 and not 21 floors surreptitiously indicted himself and his Agency. The proper thing to do is to immediately arrest and prosecute him and his cohorts in that Agency in a court of law and to conduct integrity tests of all ongoing construction of buildings in Lagis state in excess of 10 floors.

 

“A Stitch In Time Saves Nine.”

FADAKA LOUIS
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