Remains of collapsed Ikoyi building crash on neighbouring homes [Pulse Exclusive]

The Lagos state government agreed to demolish the remaining structures of the collapsed Ikoyi building in February.

Remains of collapsed Ikoyi building crashes on neighboring homes

Some remains of the collapsed 21-storey building in Ikoyi have crashed on neighboring homes, causing destruction and inconveniences.

In February 2022, the Lagos State Government accepted 26 out of 28 recommendations of the Toyin Ayinde-led panel that investigated the collapse of a 21-storey building in the Ikoyi area of the state.

One of the recommendations the state government accepted was that the multiple storey buildings still standing at the site of the collapse on Gerrard Road in Ikoyi should be demolished and the land forfeited to the state government.

However, residents around the area confirmed that no action has been physically taken on the property since all corpses were recovered from the site last year.

Recall that on Monday, November 1, 2021, the building (one of three), which was under construction at 44B, C & D Gerald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, collapsed at 2 pm.

The incident claimed the lives of over 40 people, including the developer of the said building, Olufemi Adegoke Osibona, the Managing Director of Fourscore Heights.

A neighbor, who wishes to remain unnamed, alerted this reporter on Friday, April 01, 2022, afternoon, saying one of the networks of metals used in the construction of the buildings fell, causing a familiar panic in the neighborhood, as of the day the building collapsed.

Describing the incident, the source said, "It felt just like the day the 21- storey building collapsed. On that fateful day, we heard the metals first fall before the building itself. So when we heard metals again, we ran out of our homes in fear. It feels like trauma."

However, she confirmed that the effect was only seen within the premises of the construction as of the time this was brought to our notice.

Following a heavy storm later that night, other parts of the construction metal network crashed into three neighboring homes, causing serious damage to the affected buildings.

On Wednesday, April 6, 2022, this reporter reached out to Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) to seek information on the reason the remaining uncompleted buildings at the site of the collapse have not been demolished as recommended.

At the time of filing this report, Lagos State Building Control Agency, had not responded to our request for a statement via email, and contact numbers remain "disconnected."

Background to the Ikoyi Building collapse

Before the incident, the developer, Osibona had disclosed that the project was to be a 7-star hotel of “15-storey”.

But in 2019, the developer reportedly prevented LASBCA officials from inspecting the construction of the buildings.

An officer of the agency in charge of the Inspectorate of Quality Control, Mr A.S Odugbemi, revealed before a Coroner's Inquest of the collapse that Osibona threatened to set dogs after officers that visited the building for inspection.

In the report submitted to the inquest, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) said the developer hid some sensitive and important information about the project.

Also, a Structural Engineer, Mr. Muritala Olawale, revealed to the council investigating the building collapse how Fourscore Heights altered a four-storey building plan to 21.

Olawale, who rendered structural consultancy services to the contractor, noted that while working on the design, Osibona reversed the brief to three blocks of 14-floors (ground plus 13 suspended floors).

He added that Osibona kept changing the brief by adding more floors to the buildings and never presented the necessary government approvals for the high-rise structures.

In a letter, addressed to Osibona, Olawale withdrew his involvement in the project due to the deficiency of tools required to test the strength of the building. The letter is dated 20th February, 2020.

The Lagos State Government was reportedly miffed with the property developers and owners for embarking on such a project without subjecting it to procedural approvals from the state government and other authorities vested with the mandate to ensure compliance with standards and quality.

Our source confirmed that the building was reopened for construction in early 2021, adding that the work continued intensely with construction workers visiting the site both day and night, in the bid to finish the project before the supposed launch in 2022.

LASBCA also confirmed before a Coroner’s Inquest that construction of the three high-rise blocks began before provisional approval was granted.

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