July 20, 2024

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End Recurring Incidences Of Building Collapse, Prosecute Those Found Culpable, Kalejaiye Tells Sanwo-Olu

4 min read

Mojisola Lawal

Collapsed High rise 21 storey luxury apartment in ikoyi, Lagos

A traditional ruler in Otumara Community in Lagos Mainland Local Government of Lagos state, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye has called on the state government to out measures in place to end recurring incidences of building collapse in the state while calling for the prosecution of those culpable for the collapsed high rise luxury apartments in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The 21-storey building which was under construction collapsed on Monday in Gerrad Road, Ikoyi, leading to the death of the developer, Femi Osibona and 38, according to the figures by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, as at Thursday morning.

The Lagos State Government had inaugurated a six-man probe panel to investigate the collapse with it’s report submitted within 30 days.

Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu during the inauguration of six man probe pànel to investigate the collapsed building

Describing the deaths from the collapsed building as avoidable, Kalejaiye said officials from the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, are blameworthy for not conducting necessary checks on the collapsed building.

He said, “The owner of the high rise building put the lives of innocent citizens who are out there to work to earn a decent living in danger out of his greed and unguided love for profit. He ended their lives and his abruptly due to his negligence, unprofessional conduct and use of substandard materials.

We heard that Femi Osibona owner of Fourscore Heights Limited got approval for the construction of a 15 floor building but ended up jerking it to 21 storeys without LASBCA, the state agency responsible for building control being able to do anything to check the impudence.

Members of the probe pànel committee during inauguration

This is easy to explain, supervisors from the State Building Control Agency and those from the Physical Planning have been compromised. And this is why the state is witnessing recurring incidences of building collapses and avoidable deaths.

It is not enough for the state governor to suspend indefinitely the General Manager of LASBCA, Gbolahan Oki. He must be held responsible for the deaths.

He must be made answerable not only for the collapsed Ikoyi building but for all building defects and collapses across the State before his suspension.

It is a common practice for officials of LASBCA to visit a construction site, paste a stop-work order then mark the building with a red paint only for them to come back and negotiate with the owner and thereafter allow the shady construction work to continue.

This is act is why many buildings in Lagos state cave in. The agency is not doing enough to control building construction in the state.”

The community head draws the attention of Governor Sanwo-Olu to the atrocious acts and corruption of LASBCA officials who trade approval for residential building for money.

“How can the LASBCA allow a 16 flat residential building without a single car park?

High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye during one of his visit to the General Manager, Ifalade Oyekan of the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency

Some of these buildings have no proper drainage channel and when flow of water is disrupted, it piled up beneath the building and eventually leads to its collapse. What manner of approval is that?

Who approved construction of a 16 flat residential building without a single car park? The Lagos State government has to look into this. They need to check the excesses of Lagos developers who violate building laws because of their high profit and selfishness.

They endanger the lives of occupants in the building all to earn more profit. Also some officials of LASBCA have thrown professionalism into the wind by trading building approval for money. Many of them overlook defects in building once they are induced by the developer.

I want to urge the Lagos state government to subject all high rise and residential buildings especially those building built by developers in the state to integrity test and save Lagosians from untimely deaths” he advised.

While commending Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for swiftly responding to the emergency, he said, “I heard that Gov Sanwo-Olu had to cut short his trip abroad to attend to the emergency at home, I pray God almighty continue to strengthen him to accomplish his good plans for the state.

I commend him for  setting up the panel of inquiry. I am therefore specifically requesting of him to prosecute all those that are culpable for the collapse either at the Building Control Agency or the developing company.

Late Femi Osibona

We must put an end to building collapse in the state. Enough of building collapse and avoidable deaths in Lagos state. From the Mainland to the Island, the Lagos State Government must flush out unqualified developers and substandard buildings.

The State must implement building laws and sanction erring landlords and developers. Life is too precious to be wasted away. I condole with the families of the victims of the disaster. This is not an act of God, it is self-inflicted, wickedness and negligence on the part of officials from the state agency that is responsible for building control in the state. May God console the families and grant the souls of the departed an eternal rest.”

 

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