Like medicine after death, it is emerging that the developer whose 21-storey building collapsed under construction in Ikoyi, Lagos State, and who was feared dead with two others, used inferior materials, and had approval for only 15 storeys and not 21.
Also, the structural engineering firm initially involved in the construction of the building, is now said to have withdrawn its services about 20 months ago owing to integrity issues with the building.
Even the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Oki, says the owner of the collapsed 21-storey building was given approval to construct only 15 floors.
He announced, according to agency reports that the owner of the property has been arrested and would face the law because people have died in the disaster.
“He got an approval for a 15-storey building and he exceeded his limit. I am on ground here and the materials he used are so inferior and terrible.
“The materials he used, the reinforcement, are so terrible. He got approval for 15 floors but built 21.
“I think he has been locked down. He has been arrested before now,” he said.
The GM said four people were rescued and three people died, adding that rescue efforts were still ongoing.
“We are still here and have four machines working as at this moment,” he told NAN.
There was no word on whether the building agency monitored construction as work progressed.
Tens of persons are reportedly trapped under the rubble after a 21-storey building collapsed in Ikoyi, Lagos State
Prowess Engineering Limited, the
company that started the construction of the 21-story building Monday withdrew its services since February last year.
A letter written by the company communicating the withdrawal of its services to the client has suddenly surfaced in the media.
According to the company withdrew its services on grounds that it no longer shared the same vision with its client believed to be Fourscore Heights Limited as addressed in the letter.
Prowess Engineering Limited, which had constructed two other buildings for its client, said it couldn’t guarantee the integrity of the third (collapsed building) from anything above the fourth floor.
The letter titled, ‘Re: Proposed Gerrard Terraces For Fourscore Limited,’ and signed by the company’s managing director, Muritala Olawale, reads: “This letter is to formally inform you of the withdraw of our structural consultancy service from the above named project. We arrived at this decision due to the fact that we no longer share the same vision with you as our client in terms of how the project is being executed.
“We can guarantee the integrity of the first two buildings and also work done up to the fourth floor of the third building supervised by us provided specifications have been met in terms of the required concrete strength. This we do not have control over as we do not have the concrete cube test results of each stage of the building till date. Also, note that we are not taking responsibility for any other construction errors that may have occurred overtime on the project.
“Furthermore, we request that our company’s name and logo be removed from the project board and also kindly notify all necessary approving authorities of our withdrawal from the project.
“We regret this decision and the lost opportunity to do business together. We look forward to future cooperation in other projects.”
President Muhammadu Buhari condoled with the families of those who died in the incident, a statement from his chief spokesperson, Mr. Femi Adesina, said.
“President Buhari shares the sad moment with people and Government of Lagos State, urging authorities to step up efforts in rescue operations, while emergency institutions, including hospitals, should provide all the necessary support to safeguard lives of the rescued.
“The President prays for God’s intervention in the ongoing rescue operations,” the statement on Monday read.