Standard Chartered Bank’s structure breaches standards, says witness

standardCharteredBankAn independent town planner, Mr. Makinde Ogunleye, has testified that the 14-storey structure erected by Standard Chartered Bank on Plot 142 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos does not conform to provisions of the law and standards.

Ogunleye, a retired Director of Town Planning with the Lagos State Ministry of Town and Urban Planning, stated this in his report on the physical measurement of setbacks and airspace of the structure.

His submission followed the order of Justice Doris Okuwobi of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja who instructed the President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) to undertake the measurement and prepare a comprehensive report.

Unable to do so himself, the NITP president directed Ogunleye, who is also its legal adviser, to carry out the assignment.

Testifying in court yesterday, Ogunleye reiterated that the structure failed to comply with condition that “no building shall project beyond the approved building line and air spaces,” adding that the defendants also failed to obey the condition that no building should be occupied without the issuance of a certificate of fitness for habitation.

“Failure to comply with the conditions stated in the building permit may render the building liable to demolition at owner’s expense,” he reported, adding that the setback was inadequate.

“The setback is inadequate (8.6m). This should have been nine meters from the building to the property line. The airspaces also are inadequate (4.57m and 4.67m) instead of the statutory airspace of six meters minimum on both sides of the building.”

He reported that the issue of setback to Teslim Elias Close does not arise now because the multi-level parking block is yet to be constructed.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Adeniyi Adegbonmire (SAN), Ogunleye said customers of the bank were already causing heavy traffic on the road.

He maintained that the report is comprehensive enough and that the setback and airspace failed required standard.

The witness affirmed he made enquiry at state’s Ministry of Physical Planning and Development and found out that no certificate of habitation was issued to the bank, noting that the document is not usually issued for incomplete buildings.

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