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21-storey Ikoyi building collapsed over negligence by regulatory agencies – Coroner

THE coroner inquest has revealed that the 21-storey building on Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State collapsed due to negligence by regulatory agencies responsible for the approval and supervision of the building project.

This was made known yesterday by the Coroner, Chief Magistrate O.A. Komolafe, at a sitting in Lagos, where he announced the verdict on an inquest into the tragic incident which occurred on November 1, 2021, with a heavy casualty figure, including the promoter of the property under development.

The inquest was to unravel the circumstances that led to the collapse of the building at No. 44, Gerard Road, Ikoyi.

He identified violations in the development of the collapsed structures.

Komolafe pointed out that the building’s density and setback on the site showed gross violation of the Lagos State Building Regulations.

Also in his submission, the coroner said that the project board which should have boldly shown the sensitive and important information, including the names and addresses of the professionals who carried out the project, was deliberately not provided.

He indicted the approval and supervising agencies for not sanctioning violators of the state’s physical planning and building control policies, suggesting that they were compromised.

The coroner said that the structural failure was due to design errors, adding that there was lack of quality assurance/control and poor management of the project.

Komolafe in his address adopted the recommendation contained in the Council for the Regulations of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) Report on the matter and urged the authorities concerned with the implementation of the recommendations to act accordingly.

COREN in its recommendation said that all those involved in the construction of the collapsed  21-storey building at 44 Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State, be prosecuted, especially  Lagos State Building Control.

Recall that on November 1, 2021, a 21-storey building, one of the 3 high-rise buildings under construction and situated on Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, collapsed, killing about 46 persons with 15 persons rescued alive. One of the deceased was the owner and promoter of the collapsed building, Osibona.

In the aftermath of the Ikoyi building collapse tragedy, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, admitted that mistakes were made from all angles and promised that sanctions will be meted out.

The governor immediately after the tragic incident, set up an independent panel to probe the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the building.

The panel which is not part of the internal probe that was conducted by the state government was mandated to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident and make recommendations on how to prevent future occurrences.

The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), had during a coroner’s inquest said that the construction of the 3 high-rise buildings at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos commenced before provisional approval was granted.

The Lagos State government had earlier in February announced that it will carry out criminal prosecution of Fourscore Homes Limited, the firm developing the 21-storey building that collapsed on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, on November 1, 202, over the loss of lives that occurred during the tragedy.

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