Lagos indicts Lekki Gardens promoters over building collapse as death toll hits 34

By The Citizen
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The Lagos State government has accused the promoters of Lekki Gardens of being responsible for the collapse of a five-storey building under construction on Tuesday in which 18 people were killed.

One more dead body was said to have been recovered late on Tuesday, bringing the casualties to 19.

Emergency workers also recovered 15 more corpses on Wednesday, bringing the number of the dead to 34.

In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the state government said the building had been sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency, but Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate, the promoters of Lekki Gardens, continued construction.

'Based on preliminary reports and investigation, it was discovered that the collapsed building was served contravention notice for exceeding the approved floors and thereafter sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency,' the statement read in part.

The state government, said it had been discovered that 'in a brazen act of defiance and impunity, the owners of the building, Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited, the promoters of Lekki Gardens, criminally unsealed the property and continued building beyond the approved floors until the unfortunate incident of Tuesday which has led to loss of lives.'

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, consequently, directed the directors of Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate, the promoters of Lekki Gardens, to report to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, within 24 hours or face arrest.

The government, which extended its condolences to the families of those that lost their lives in the incident, also suspended the construction of Lekki Gardens, which is located at Ikate Elegushi, Lekki.

It ordered the police to cordon of the site of the collapse as it had become a crime scene.

The government added that further integrity tests would be carried out on every other construction project 'which has or is currently being handled by Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited in the interest of public safety'.

According to the statement, arising from the Lagos State Executive Council meeting decision on Wednesday, the state government warned that it would no longer tolerate the action of unscrupulous owners and builders who challenge its supervisory control, thereby endangering the lives of Lagosians.

The government commended men of the Lagos State Emergency Authority, the Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Ambulance Service, Red Cross, National Emergency Agency, Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Rapid Response Squad, for their timely intervention following the collapse. Punch