Ikoyi Collapsed Building: Tribunal Gives Deadline For Submission Of Memoranda


By Benjamin Omoike 

The Lagos State Tribunal of Inquiry set up to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the collapsed 21-storey building at Gerrard Road in Ikoyi, on Monday, gave Wednesday, November 24, 2021, as a deadline for the submission of memoranda by members of the public and relevant stakeholders.

This was just as the Tribunal disclosed it had so far received documents from some government MDAs, which it had started studying, adding that it had also interviewed some of the Lagos Government “staff in the relevant MDAs.”

It would be recalled that following the unfortunate incident, the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on November 4 inaugurated a six-man Tribunal of Inquiry for the purpose of determining the cause(s) of the collapsed building; determine whether there was full compliance with the Physical Planning, building, building materials testing, Laws and regulations in Lagos State by the developer or by any other person, among others.

The Chairman of the panel, Toyin Ayinde, gave the ultimatum during a press conference that took place at LASWA Terminal Office, Ikoyi where the six-man team is conducting its assignment.

Ayinde, who noted that the panel was given 30 days to complete its task, and had begun sitting immediately after the inauguration by Governor Sanwo-Olu, stated that the body which he headed had held formal interviews with witnesses from Tuesday, November 16, 2021, in order to identify the roles played in the activities that led to the collapse of the building.

According to him, the panel also received the report from the consultants who conducted verticality tests on the remaining structures standing in the premises of the collapsed building, saying the results of the tests on the construction materials were still being awaited.

“The interviews conducted have been recorded for the purpose of record-keeping, and the Tribunal would meet as many as are willing to present credible and factual statements, with evidence(s), relating to the collapse,” Ayinde stated.

Ayinde, while stating that the purpose of this Press Conference was to appraise the Press, and the general public, of what the Tribunal had done so far, and what the Tribunal activities were likely to be in the remaining days ahead, listed

The purpose of this Press Conference is to appraise the Press, and the general public, of what the Tribunal has done so far, and what our activities are likely to be in the remaining days ahead, also listed other activities so far embarked upon to include: setting up the Secretariat and arranging logistics for the successful conduct of activities, a visit to the site of the collapsed building for a general assessment of the rescue operations, and to determine areas where expert consultants’ services would be required, among others.

“The Tribunal which comprises six professionals in the private sector, and who are certified members of their professions, began sitting immediately after its inauguration on Thursday, November 4, 2021.

“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.

“So far the activities of the Tribunal have included: Setting up the Secretariat and arranging logistics for the successful conduct of activities.

“A visit to the site of the collapse on Friday, November 5, for a general assessment of the rescue operations, and to determine areas where expert consultants’ services would be required.

“A visit to the General Hospital, Broad Street to interview some of the survivors who could offer some eyewitness accounts.

“Engaging the services of consultant building materials testing laboratory for the purpose of addressing item (e) of the TOR.

“Engaging the services of a consultant Land Surveyor to conduct verticality tests on the remaining structures within the premises of the collapsed building.

“Writing the relevant Government MDA’s to request for all files and documentation relating to the collapsed building. Writing to all consultants and developers/contractors associated with the project on 44 B, C, D Gerrard Road, Ikoyi; and Listing more than 30 stakeholders relevant to the construction industry and the collapsed building, whose views, position papers and recommendations would be received and considered. Those that the Tribunal consider necessary to chat with would be invited,” he said.

Ayinde said the Tribunal’s mode of communication would be to brief the media through press releases as and when required, to ensure members of the public were aware of the conduct of the proceedings, calling for the cooperation of the media while expressing the belief that “together with all stakeholders” the problem would be solved on a permanent basis.

“The Tribunal’s mode of communication would be to brief the Media through Press releases as and when required, so that the public may be aware of the conduct of the proceedings. As we proceed, we expect your cooperation and we hope that we will, together with all stakeholders, be able to solve this problem on a permanent basis,” the chairman said.

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