A panel of enquiries set up by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the 21-storey building that collapsed on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, will address members of the public on Monday.

The families of victims killed in the incident urged the state government to allow them to attend the panel proceedings while lawyers warned the government against barring journalists from covering the probe.

The state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had constituted a six-member panel led by the President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, Mr Toyin Ayinde, on November 3 to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the collapse and submit its report within 30 days.

Other members of the panel are a structural engineer, Dr Akintilo Adeleke; an architect, Yinka Ogundairo; a representative of Institute of Builders, Mr Godfrey Godfrey, and a property lawyer, Mrs Bunmi Ibrahim.

The high rise owned by a developer and Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Limited, Femi Osibona, had crumbled on November 1, trapping him, his personal assistant, Oyinye Enekwe and his US-based friend, Wale Bob-Oseni, billed to return to the States that fateful day, a corps member and several others working at the site.

At the last count, 46 persons, including Osibona, Bob-Oseni and about-to-wed Enekwe, had been recovered dead from the rubble while 15 persons were rescued alive as the emergency operation continued.

However, a viral document from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority dated April 9, 2019, confirmed that the government indeed approved “15 floors” for the real estate firm.

In the ensuing conundrum, Sanwo-Olu set up the panel to determine if there was full compliance with physical planning and building materials laws of the state; whether there was supervisory or oversight lapses on the part of regulatory agencies and make necessary recommendations to guard against reoccurrence.

Speaking to one of our correspondents on Friday, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, said the panel had commenced its assignment since it was inaugurated by the governor last Thursday and would brief the public through the media on Monday.

He said, “The panel has begun work immediately the governor swore them in. The panel may hold a press conference on Monday.”

Meanwhile, the Osibona family and others who lost their loved ones in the tragic incident have asked the state government to allow them to take part in the proceedings of the panel.

The Osibonas’ lawyer, Olisa Agbakogba (SAN), said since the panel was looking into crucial issues, it must hear from the family.



By: Raymond Joe & PETERS