The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered an indefinite suspension of the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, Mr Gbolahan Oki, barely 24 hours after the collapse of a 21-storey high-rise building at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday, signed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, who said that the suspension was the first step towards finding out what went wrong to cause the building collapse.

Fifteen dead bodies have been recovered from the rubbles of the collapsed building with several others still feared trapped and probably dead.

What the Lagos state government is doing

The state government in the statement also announced the setting up of an independent panel to probe the circumstances surrounding the collapse of the building.

The panel will independently investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident and make recommendations on how to prevent future occurrences. The investigation is not part of the internal probe already being conducted by the government.

The statement partly reads “Members of the panel will be drawn from the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and other professional bodies.

It will independently investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident and make recommendations on how to prevent future occurrence. The investigation is not part of the internal probe already being conducted by the government.”

At least nine persons have been rescued alive from the rubble with the survivors taken to the hospital. Meanwhile, rescue operations have continued on the site to save more lives.

The statement further said, “Mr. Sanwo-Olu thanks all first responders and those who have joined the rescue efforts, including construction giants Julius Berger, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

“A help desk is to be set up at the site for people seeking information about their relations who may have been involved in the incident. The media are hereby notified that the government will be releasing information whenever the need arises to avoid any sensational reporting of the unfortunate incident.”

In case you missed it

Recall that on Monday, November 1, 2021, a 21-storey high-rise building located at 20 Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State, collapsed with many people feared trapped under the rubble of the collapsed structure.

The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, who visited the site amid tight security, explained that the premises of the collapsed building has been sealed by the government agency in charge of testing, for more investigation into the integrity of the structure.