A Lagos based member of the body of benchers, Kunle Uthman Esq has called on the Executive governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure that all those found wanting to have contributed directly or otherwise to the collapsed building at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos are prosecuted according to the law.
Uthman made the call in a letter addressed to the governor and sighted by TMS News on Tuesday. He accused the General Manager Lagos State Building Control Agency of negligence, making reference to a publication on Punch newspaper where it was reported that the GM while explaining the sad incident said that the approval for the collapsed building was fifteen (15) and not 21 floors. He also admitted that that poor materials were used in construction of that building, hence its collapse.
Barrister Uthman said the incident reported to have claimed no fewer than 10 lives is an example of ‘culpability of government’.
“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.”
He went further to say that the collapse of the building is a typical example of compromise on the part of the officials of the Lagos state government.
“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.
Meanwhile, Prowess Engineering Limited, the firm that provided structural consultancy service for Fourscore Heights Limited, the developers and owners on the collapsed building had earlier in February 2020 withdrew their services, citing ‘conflict of vision’ and other irregularities on the part of the developers as reason for withdrawal.