Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered indefinite suspension of the general manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, (LASBCA), Mr. Gbolahan Oki, over the collapse of a 21-storey building at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi on Monday.
LEADERSHIP reliably gathered as of the time of filing this report that the death toll from the collapse of the ill-fated building had risen from 15 earlier confirmed by the Lagos state government to 19 persons, even as several others are still trapped and feared dead in the rubble.
As part of measures to unravel the cause of the collapse Governor Sanwo-Olu has set up an independent panel to probe the collapse of the 21-storey building comprising the Nigeria Institute of Architects, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Nigeria Society of Engineers and other professional bodies.
It will independently investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident and make recommendations on how to prevent future occurrence. The investigation is not part of the internal probe already being conducted by the government.
The state commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, who stated this in a statement on Tuesday, added that, “Governor Babajide has said the government will surely find out what went wrong and punish those indicted.
“The governor, as a first step, has directed that the general manager of LASBCA, Mr. Gbolahan Oki, an architect, be suspended from work immediately. The suspension is indefinite.
“More equipment and personnel have been deployed to the site to save more lives.
“Nine persons – all men – have been pulled out of the rubble alive. They have been taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, 15 others were brought out dead as at 2pm.
“Mr. Sanwo-Olu thanks all first responders and those who have joined the rescue efforts, including construction giants Julius Berger, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
“A help desk is to be set up at the site for people seeking information about their relations who may have been involved in the incident.’’
Earlier, the deputy governor, Dr Kadri Hamzat, was at the site to encourage rescuers and comfort the relations of those trapped in the rubble.
According to Hamzat, “the state government will embark on further foundation and borehole acidic level tests to ascertain the impact on the collapsed building.’’