The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 inaugurated a four-member committee towards implementing the report on the collapsed 21-storey structure on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi.
Sanwo-Olu constituted the committee at the Lagos House, Ikeja, after receiving the report of the Panel of Inquiry on the cause of the structure to collapse on Nov. 1, 2021.
He said that the setting up of the committee was a first step to the implementation of the report submitted by the panel.
The four-member committee is led by the state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, an engineer.
Other members are: the Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) and his Agriculture counterpart, Ms Abisola Olusanya.
According to the governor, the committee will bring forward a report to be considered by the Lagos State Executive Council.
He commended the members of the Toyin Ayinde-led panel for their commitment and quick response to the assignment given to them by the state government.
”Let me on behalf of the people and the government of Lagos State first acknowledge the very difficult task that has been passed on to you and the commitments and the quick response that each and every one of you gave to the assignment.
”We know that you all have been chosen from different professional backgrounds but you were indeed ready to serve the people for this very important assignment.
”Let me therefore, commend and thank you for that exercise. I will be constituting a four-man committee almost immediately that will read through the report and I am giving them the end of next week to get back to the State Executive Council,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The chairman of the panel, Mr Toyin Ayinde, is the President of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP).
Other members are a structural engineer, Dr. Akintilo Idris; an architect, Yinka Ogundairo; a builder, Mr Godfrey Godfrey; a real estate lawyer, Mrs Bunmi Ibrahim; and a lawyer, Ekundayo Onajobi, served as the secretary.
Speaking earlier, Ayinde expressed hope that the findings and recommendations of the panel’s report would be implemented by the government, to bring a lasting solution to incidents of building collapse, not only in Lagos State but nationally.
Ayinde said that the panel spent approximately six weeks on the assignment and submitted the report, as well as electronic recordings of all the sections and videos of proceedings in a hard drive to the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissi9ner for Justice.
He said that the panel visited the project site for a general assessment, coordinated the activities of the consultants who conducted tests on the site, received and reviewed documents from relevant MDAs and conducted 35 interviews.
According to him, the panel interviewed 91 persons, requested and received 21 memoranda and accessed the home of the late CEO of Fourscore Heights Ltd., Mr Olufemi Osibono, with a view to gathering useful documents.
”The tribunal had the opportunity to access the home of the late CEO of Fourscore Heights Ltd, in the presence of the members of his family.
There, some documents that were scanned helped in gaining further insights into the case, particularly the processes that led to the construction and the eventual collapse, he said.
”The tribunal also hosted the representation of the developer’s company, comprising two legal firms. It is on record that in their first and second appearances, the lawyers expressed the fact that they were external lawyers to the company and had little knowledge about the case in hand.
”Having spent approximately six weeks on this assignment, we now wish to make our submission to the Governor of Lagos State, who constituted the tribunal.
”We need to note, however, that building collapses are rooted in the collapse of values, morals and ethics, which we need to work on as a nation.
”We cannot sow the wind and not expect to reap the whirlwind. Therefore, ethics and due diligence need to be restored,” Ayinde said.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu had on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, inaugurated the six-member panel of inquiry to investigate the cause of the collapse of the building.
The governor also signed an executive bill to give legal backing to the panel during its inauguration.
By Florence Onuegbu