The Lagos State Government has said that the developers of the three-storey building which collapsed in the Ilasa area of the State on Thursday had ignored a stop work order, and were therefore directly responsible for the tragic incident.
Three people were killed and 19 others were injured in the unfortunate incident.
This was contained in a statement issued by Olubukonla Nwonah, the chief public affairs officer in the Lagos State ministry Physical Planning and Urban Development.
The statement quoted the commissioner in charge of the ministry, Wasiu Anifowose, as saying that the building was disapproved and sealed off by officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, but the developers illegally broke the seal to continue work.
“This particular building had been monitored and sealed off. Our officers had come back to monitor for compliance but they were prevented by hoodlums from carrying out their statutory responsibilities,” Anifowose was quoted as saying.
“Yesterday, before the collapse, our officials were there again but were chased back to the office to reinforce when this tragedy happened.
“We had actually served all the necessary statutory stop work notices and this is evident in our records that the building was sealed off, but this developer broke the seal twice and continued with the illegal development and this is the result of the illegality.”
The commissioner explained that the building was sealed off because officials of the State’s building control discovered that substandard materials were being used in the construction and the developers had no development permit to embark on the construction.
Anifowose urged developers to always abide by the regulations and never to ignore stop work orders as doing that is criminal and could be dangerous.
“Despite deploying officers to monitor developments to prevent such ugly occurrences, some wicked, irresponsible and unscrupulous developers still carry out nefarious illegality,” the commissioner lamented.