TRIBUNAL RELEASES STATEMENT ON IKOYI BUILDING COLLAPSE
The Lagos State Government’s Tribunal of Inquiry probing the collapse of a 21-story building at 44 B, C, and D Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, announced on Monday that the findings of the tests undertaken on the construction materials are still pending.
It urged the general public, professional organizations, and construction industry stakeholders, as well as individuals, to submit memoranda that had a direct bearing on the November 1 incident.
The tribunal, which is chaired by Mr. Toyin Ayinde, President of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), has requested that memoranda be sent to ‘[email protected],’ with all memoranda, recommendations, and comments due by Wednesday, November 24.
Speaking during a press conference held on Monday at the tribunal secretariat in Lagos State Waterways Agency, LASWA Terminal Building (LASWA), Ikoyi, on the update and activities of the panel since its inauguration, Ayinde said the tribunal has not made its activities known to the public based on professional ethics.
He said the Panel members are “compelled to speak only when investigations have been made, reports and documents submitted, queried, analysed and discussions held with relevant stakeholders.”
He said the six-member tribunal began convening immediately after its inauguration on Thursday, November 4, and that it had received documents from several government MDAs within two weeks of operation, which panel members had begun analyzing.
On November 1, a 21-story building in Ikoyi’s Gerrard Road collapsed, killing around 40 people, including the developer, Femi Osibona, while other individuals were rescued.
Following that, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, appointed a six-man Panel to investigate the collapsed building tragedy in order to prevent future occurrences.
The tribunal has 30 days to perform its mission. Ayinde, a lawyer in a private law company, Ekundayo Onajobi (Secretary); Dr. Akintilo Idris Adeleke, a structural engineer; Yinka Ogundairo, an architect; Mr. Godfrey O. Godfrey, a representative of the Institute of Builders; and Mrs. Bunmi Ibrahim, a real estate lawyer
The tribunal had visited the collapsed building for a general assessment of the rescue operations and to determine areas where expert consultants’ services would be required, according to Ayinde, who added that members of the tribunal had also visited the General Hospital on Broad Street to interview some of the survivors who could provide eyewitness accounts.
He also revealed that the tribunal had identified more than 30 stakeholders with ties to the construction industry and the collapsed building, all of whom would have their opinions, position papers, and recommendations received and considered by his tribunal, as well as those whom the tribunal deemed necessary to speak with.
The tribunal members said the tribunal has hired a consultant building materials testing laboratory to investigate and conduct necessary tests on materials used in the collapsed building’s construction.
They observed a moment of silence during the press conference in honor of those who died in the collapsed building.
He added that the tribunal has engaged the services of a consultant Land Surveyor to conduct verticality tests on the remaining structures within the premises of the collapsed building, as well as writing to all consultants and developers/contractors associated with the project on 44 B, C, D Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, to request all files and documentation relating to the collapsed building.
“There may have been concerns or agitations about why the Tribunal has not spoken to the Press. We will like to state that members of the Tribunal are professionals, and our calling demands that we make statements from informed and verified positions. We are compelled to speak only when investigations have been made, reports and documents submitted, queried, analysed and discussions held with relevant stakeholders.
“The Tribunal would like to state that some documents have been received from some government MDA’s and members have started studying them. We have also interviewed some of the LASG staff in the relevant MDA’s. We however appeal to members of the public, professional bodies and construction industry stakeholders, as well as individuals who have useful information and invite them to submit memoranda that have a direct bearing on the particular issue being investigated, as well as their recommendations to prevent future occurrence,” the tribunal chairman said.