Following the 5-storey building collapse which occurred in Lagos during the week, information has emerged that Lekki Gardens, owners of the collapsed Lekki building which left 26 people dead, allegedly unprofessionally added the last two floors of the building according to the Nigerian Institute of Building.
In an interview with TheCable, Adelaja Adekanbi, vice chairman Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), said the builders failed to put up a stable structure.
“All the work that has been done here is nothing to write home about; it’s work that was done under no supervision, under no professional engineer or builder,” he said.
“Let them bring the engineer or builder that is involved in the construction. The first two building here, I was involved in it; I taught them what to do. They wanted to raise two floors and they did a piling of six metres for this kind of structure so the structural stability is failure and where we are standing, if you don’t know, was purely water two years ago.
“Imagine someone building on water and doing a piling of six metres for a seven-storeyed building. I recommend to Lagos state government that every building here painted or not, should be tested.
“This house we are looking at should also be pulled down in a week. If not, we are looking for another trouble. At this point, I recommend that every house here should be tested to ascertain the structural stability because I don’t think they are habitable.”
Kehinde Adebayo, the chief press secretary of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), told TheCable that the agency had recovered 26 bodies while another 13 people were rescued alive.
An Iron bender working on the building, who simply identified himself as Happiness, said his brother was still trapped in the building and he would not leave until his brother had been found, dead or alive.
He said a lesser number of people would have been trapped in the building had the owners paid them in due time.
“They didn’t pay people; that’s why they didn’t go for the weekend. If they paid, people would have gone for the weekend,” he said.
“I think they were about 60 to 100 in the building because people came from Badagry, Togo and Ibadan to work here. They were paid weekly originally, but they have not been paid for three weeks now.”
Preliminary investigations by the Lagos State Government has also shown that the collapsed building was discovered to have been served a contravention notice for exceeding the approved floors and thereafter sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency. Consequently, negligence claimed the lives of innocent Nigerians.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, stated upon preliminary reports and investigation 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.”
The Lagos State Executive Council has decided that further integrity tests should be conducted on every other construction project which has or is currently being handled by Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited in the interest of the public.
The Lagos State government has, as a matter of necessity, directed the suspension of work at the site and mandated the Lagos State Police Command to cordon it off, as it is now a crime scene.
Meanwhile,the governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, has asked all directors of Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited to submit themselves for interrogation to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police within the next twenty four hours, peacefully, in their own interest or face immediate arrest.
About Lekki Gardens
Lekki Gardens is an independent real estate company located in the Lekki area of Lagos Nigeria. The company was incorporated in January 2012 as a wholly indigenous real estate firm. The company claims to have “a clear vision to bridge the 17 million housing deficit gap in Nigeria, moving swiftly from humble beginnings to become the market leader in the provision of super affordable homes while providing exceptional facility management services for same”.