The Lagos State Government has halted construction on Lekki Gardens’ site, following the death of 25 construction site workers who lost their lives on Tuesday as a result of the collapse of a five-storey building under construction.
The State Government has consequently directed the suspension of work at the site and ordered the State Police Command to cordon it off as it is now a crime scene.
In a press release issued on Wednesday and signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the Lagos State Government also announced that based on preliminary reports and investigation, it was discovered that the collapsed building was served contravention notice for exceeding the approved floors and thereafter sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
It added that it has also been discovered 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 government also directed further integrity tests be carried out on every other construction project which has or is currently being handled by Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited in the interest of public safety.
Furthermore, the release quoted the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode as saying that all directors of Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited are strongly advised to submit themselves to the State Commissioner of Police within the next twenty four hours in their own interest or face immediate arrest.
The statement also commended the timely response and remarkable intervention by the combined men of the Lagos State Emergency Authority (LASEMA), the Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), Red Cross, National Emergency Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS).
The State Government also warned that it will no longer be business as usual stating that any developer either on existing or new building projects who fails to comply with building and construction regulations or attempts to subvert the law will henceforth face criminal prosecution.
Meanwhile, the Police in Lagos have arrested the contractor who is handling the collapsed five storey building in Lekki area of the state.
The Lagos State Police Spokesperson, SP Oladapo Badmus, who made the disclosure to the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos, did not disclose where he was arrested.
Badmus gave his name as Odofin Taiwo, adding that he was currently under investigation.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) told NAN that the death toll at the collapsed five storey building in Lekki, had risen to 30 as at 4 p.m. on Wednesday
The General Manager of LASEMA, Mr Michael Akindele, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that as at 12.40 p.m. on the same day, 13 other people had been rescued.