Lekki Building Collapse: Death Toll Now 30, Lagos Govt Halts Project
Death toll of the collapsed five-storey building in Lekki, Lagos Tuesday has risen to 30, according to officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA. And to calm nerves and fully appraise the misfortune, the state government has stopped further development of the Lekki Gardens project. It has also issued 24-hour ultimatum to all directors of the Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited to report themselves to the police or face immediate arrest.
In a press statement issued Wednesday and signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the Lagos State Government also announced that based on preliminary reports and investigation, it was discovered that the collapsed building was served contravention notice for exceeding the approved floors and thereafter sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
The statement added that it has also been discovered that in a brazen act of defiance and impunity, the owners of the building, Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited, the promoters of Lekki Gardens, criminally unsealed the property and continued building beyond the approved floors until the unfortunate incident of Tuesday.
The Commissioner said the State Government would no longer tolerate the action of unscrupulous owners and builders who challenge its supervisory control thereby endangering the lives of Lagosians.
The State Government has consequently directed the suspension of work at the site and ordered the Lagos State Police Command to cordon it off as it is now a crime scene.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has directed all directors of Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited to submit themselves to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police within the next 24 hours in their own interest or face immediate arrest.
The statement also commended the timely response and remarkable intervention by the combined men of the Lagos State Emergency Authority (LASEMA), the Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), Red Cross, National Emergency Agency (NEMA), Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS).
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesperson, Ibrahim Farinloye, disclosed that 12 more dead bodies were removed from the collapsed building on Wednesday, bringing the total to 30. So far, only 13 survivors have been recorded.