#BounceExclusive: Lagos Buildings Collapse: No Arrest Made Yet – Police
People are dead and no one is asking questions. The families of the deceased are still mourning while the injured are writhing in pain.
They were only looking for their daily bread but their glimmer of hope faded away when the buildings under construction which they were working on came crashing down.
Some others paid the ultimate price for just being there at the wrong time.
One person was killed and several others were badly injured when a three-storey building collapsed on Richard Abimbola street, Ilasamaja area of Lagos State on May 18.
Few days after the incident, two people lost their lives while several others mostly construction workers, were injured when another three-storey building being renovated suddenly sank on Daddy Alaja Street in Idumota.
Awaiting Forensic Reports
Surprisingly, the contractors in charge of both projects and the owners are still walking as free men.
This was disclosed by the spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole while speaking exclusively to Bounce News.
Cole said no arrest has been made because the police are still waiting for the forensic report being carried out by the Lagos State Physical Planning and Urban Development.
“The Lagos State Physical Planning and Urban Development will assess the situation of things for carelessness or negligence on the part of the developers, get back to us before we start making arrest and prosecution.
“We wait for them to give us their forensic reports before we begin our investigations".
When asked whether these contractors would not have run away by the time all the forensic reports are concluded, he stated no matter how far they run, they will be arrested and prosecuted.
“Because you run away from a crime does not mean we will not get you. You can refer to the notorious kidnap kingpin, Evans that has been making his criminal exploits over the years which was eventually caught.
“There is need for proper investigation before any arrest is made. We will soon invite some individuals and corporate bodies as regard the incidents of collapsed buildings in Lagos state.
“We have our role to play and we will do that, be rest assured”, he said.
‘Culprits Will Be Prosecuted’
Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Wasiu Anifowose said the state government has started investigating both incidents and would not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law.
The commissioner explained that the Ilasa building was disapproved by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), but the developers illegally broke the seal to continue work.
“This particular building had been monitored and had been sealed off. Our officers had come back to monitor for compliance, but they were prevented by hoodlums from carrying out their statutory responsibilities. Before the building finally collapsed, our officials were there again but were chased back to the office to reinforce when this tragedy happened.
“We had actually served all the necessary statutory stop work notices and this is evident in our records that the building was sealed off but this developer broke the seal twice and continued with the illegal development and this is the result of the illegality,” he said.
He added that building had been sealed off on account of the evidence that the materials found on site were substandard, aside the fact that the developers had no development permit.
But one wonders, if why did the Lagos state agency not report to the police after their officials were stopped from carrying out their duties by common agberos?
Why was the case not referred to higher authorities in the state including the governor's office to prevent any mishap?
Hmmm... we are watching.