Skip to main content

The Lagos State Buildings Control Agency said ahead of a coroner’s inquest into the collapse of a 21-story building in Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, that construction on the three high-rise buildings has started before provisional approval.

LASBCA lawyer AS Odugbemi said this when interviewing Muritala Olawale, Managing Director of Prowess Engineering Nigeria Limited.

Nigeria’s news agency reports that Olawale was a former structural engineer consulting for the project.

He withdrew his services via a letter dated February 20, 2020 over disputes over how the project was structurally executed.

Odugbemi, during the proceedings, disputed the content of paragraph 17 of Olawale’s statement on the oath at the inquest.

He said the late Femi Osibona, managing director of Fourscore Heights Limited, contractor for the project, informed his team that he had received interim approval for construction of the project.

According to Olawale’s affidavit, Osibona showed his team a copy of the Lagos State Government’s interim approval and ordered them to begin construction on the site.

Challenging Olawale’s claims, Odugbemi said LASBCA never granted Osibona a provisional planning permission when the team moved to the site to begin construction in January 2019.

He said LASBCA granted provisional approval in April 2019.

He asked, “Will you be surprised if proof is provided to you right now that work started before the provisional planning approval in April 2019?”

In response, Olawale said, “I will be surprised.

“All the approval processes were handled by the client (Osibona).

“I cannot answer questions at this time.

“I need to check my records. “

Olawale did not give a specific answer to Odugbemi’s question about whether the three high-rise buildings were covered by a general insurance policy as required by law.

However, he informed the commission that prior to construction, a soil test had been carried out on the site by another company hired to do the work.

“We have submitted the result of the site’s soil test to other panels investigating the collapse,” he said.

NAN reports that of the three high-rise buildings: Blocks A, B and C, located on Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Block B (21 floors) collapsed on November 1, 2021, killing 46 people, while 15 people were saved alive. .

One of the deceased was Osibona.