A civil society group, Justice for Victims League in Lagos, has raised the alarm on the continued death of citizens from collapsed buildings across the country and the absence of adequate deterrent by State Governments and lack of justice for victims.
The group cited a reprot by Punch newspaper on Sunday, in which a three-storey building belonging to Keystone Bank at Palmgrove, Ikorodu Road, Lagos State, partially collapsed on Saturday, killing one of the artisans on duty.
It was learnt that the three-storey building collapsed around 7pm and trapped the labourer whose identity is yet to be ascertained.
The group said it would be recalled that in 2017 in similar circumstances, a five-storey building under construction on Kushenla Road, Ikate Elegushi, Lekki also collapsed. The property owned by Lekki Gardens company killed an estimated 35 people. It said the Lagos State Government did promise to prosecute the owner, one Richard Nyong and his Company and went ahead to file charges at the Lagos High Court.
However, the group observed that in a recent twist, Justice Sybil Nwaka of the Lagos Stare High Court refused to endorse a plea bargain and sentencing agreement in respect of the charges of involuntary manslaughter filed by the Lagos State Government against the Managing Director of Lekki Gardens Estate Limited, Mr. Richard Nyong, and others.
Justice Nwaka had complained that the plea arrangement brought by the State Government did not make adequate arrangement for the victims and would not get her endorsement.
However, the Justice for Victims league’s spokesman Mr. Oyebanji Awokoya observed that this recent collapse like others must be as a result of suspected corruption in the system and is one too many at the cost of innocent citizens whose rights are being compromised.
He urged the Lagos State Government to urgently address this problem and give proper justice to victims before it consumes more lives.