30 confirmed dead in Lekki Gardens building collapse
• Lagos orders halt to work,
• Directors to submit selves
within 24 hours
As the number of deaths in the Lekki Gardens Estate building collapse rose to 30 yesterday, the Lagos State Government has ordered the immediate suspension of all construction at the site.
Yesterday, 18 lives were confirmed lost with 12 rescued.
The government also ordered directors of Lekki Gardens, owned and managed by Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited, to submit themselves to the police within 24 hours.
The state government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, expressed condolences over the death.
He said preliminary reports showed the collapsed building was served contravention notice for exceeding the approved number of floors and thereafter sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
It was also 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.”
Ayorinde continued: “Arising from the Lagos State Executive Council meeting decision on yesterday, the State Government will no longer tolerate the action of unscrupulous owners and builders who challenge its supervisory control thereby endangering the lives of Lagosians.
“The State Government has consequently directed the suspension of work at the site and ordered the Lagos State Police Command to cordon it off as it is now a crime scene.”
He confirmed that the government also directed further integrity tests 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.
“The Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode said that all directors of Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited are strongly advised to submit themselves to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police within the next 24 hours in their own interest or face immediate arrest,” Ayorinde stated.
The government warned that it would no longer be business as usual, stating that any developer either on existing or new building projects who fails to comply with building and construction regulations or attempts to subvert the law, would henceforth face criminal prosecution.
The government, however, commended the timely response and remarkable intervention by the combined men of the Lagos State Emergency Authority (LASEMA), the Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), Red Cross, National Emergency Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS), that helped in the rescue of 12 persons.
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