By Lukman Olabiyi
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has vowed that more government officials would be fired just as he declared that no stone would be left unturned in attempt to unravel what really went wrong at the collapsed 21-storey in Ikoyi.
The governor who made the pledged at the scene of the incident, yesterday, handed the Independent Panel of Inquiry a 30-day deadline to submit the report of the findings of the cause(s) of the collapse.
General Manager of the building control agency (LASBCA), Gbolahan Oki, has already been slammed with an indefinite suspension while unconfirmed reports from multiple sources put the death toll at 29 at press time last night.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said an Executive Order would be signed to give legal backing to the panel to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the accident.
“I have set up a high powered commission of enquiry, it is a strong professional investigative panel consisting of everybody from outside of government. The panel has 30 days to work and report back to us. I’ll be signing an executive order to give legal backing to their composition so they can stay work immediately and turn out a report not later than 30 days.”
Members of the panel are Toyin Ayinde (chairman); Ekundayo Onajobi (secretary); Idris Akintilo; Yinka Ogundairo; Godfrey. O. Godfrey and Mrs Bunmi Ibrahim.
The terms of reference is to determine the causes of the collapse of the building under construction.
‘’Whether they were full compliance with physical planning and building material laws of the state, to determine whether there was any supervisory or oversight lapse on the part of regulatory authority in the state.
‘’The panel is to determine the number of casualty and fatalities, to examine any other matter incidental to any of the terms as stated above, and to make necessary recommendation to guard against the occurrence of such incidents in the state,’’ he said.
The governor assured that the law would take its full course on whoever was found culpable in the incident.
‘’It is on record that we asked the General Manager of the Building Control Agency, Oki to proceed on an indefinite suspension. You can rest assured that if there are other people that are found in the course of the investigation, everybody will also face the full wrath of the law.
‘’So for us to get to the real issue of what had happened, I have set up a high powered commission of inquiry. It is a strong, professional, investigative panel that consists of everybody from outside of government. I will be signing an executive order to give legal backing to their composition, so that you can start work immediately and turn out a report not later than 30 days,’’ he said.
The state government also identified six out of the nine survivors from the rubbles in the Ikoyi building collapse. They are Oduntan Timilehin (26); Ahmed Keleku (19, from Cotonou); Sunday Monday (21, suffered left leg fracture); Adeniran Mayowa (37, hip injury); Solagbade Nurudeen (33, pelvic injury); and Waliu Lateef (32).
Sanwo-Olu said the bereaved families would be invited to identify their loved ones, latest by tomorrow, after autopsy had been conducted on the bodies.
He added that it was difficult to give an accurate number of workers on site when the accident happened because there was no manifest, and no one, whether the owner, staff, developer or contractor, has come up to provide such information.
“Not having a workers’ manifest clearly contravenes laws guiding construction works,” the governor said.
The governor urged people to visit the information desk set up on site to provide required information about their relatives working on the site. Information can also be gotten on www.lagosmind.org/help or a mail sent to [email protected] The dedicated line to seek psycho-social support is 09090006463.