The Lagos State Government has announced the inauguration of a tribunal to investigate the causes of the collapsed 21-story building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi.

The tribunal was inaugurated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, alongside an executive order legitimising the creation of the panel and empowering them to invite or summon anyone and organisation for its investigation.

The State Governor promised that it is committed to finding out the cause of the collapse. He stated, “So that indeed, we all can truly learn from this very unfortunate incident and we all can be part of history and ensure that we can live in a safe and secure environment.”

What the Governor is saying

Governor Sanwo-Olu mentioned that the duty of the panel would begin immediately and they are expected to report back within 30 days and urged the members of the panel to discharge their duties without fear or favour.

The Governor revealed that the tribunal members drawn from the private sector included the President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr.Toyin Ayinde (chairman), while Ekundayo Onajobi, a lawyer in a private law firm, is the Secretary. The other panel members are a structural engineer; Dr. Akintilo Adeleke, an architect; Yinka Ogundairo, representative of Institute of Builders; Mr. Godfrey O. Godfrey, and Mrs. Bunmi Ibrahim, a real estate lawyer.

”We are gathered here to perform a sad but necessary duty, which is the inauguration of a six-member panel of inquiry into the collapse of the 21-story building at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, on Monday.

It is a solemn moment for me personally, but this is an important assignment. Indeed, the generation coming after will not forgive us if we don’t do the right thing in this incident.

“Lagosians and the world will be watching and waiting keenly, with the full expectation that the immediate and remote causes of this tragedy will be uncovered,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Governor Sanwo-Olu disclosed that in a few weeks, the tribunal’s actions would have important implications for building safety and for emergency response, not just in Lagos, but in the entire country, and will also go a long way toward ensuring that the families of the innocent victims of this avoidable tragedy experience some sort of closure and get justice.

Tribunal Chairman, Ayinde who noted that Lagos was in its “dark period” stated: “The tribunal accepts its own liberty and with humility the important assignment the state has placed before us. We will go ahead with a sense of dedicated responsibility.

“This exercise can only make the expected difference if we all agree to place value on Nigerian life.

“As members, we promise to be guided by professional standards and hope that we will chart a new course that will guarantee the safety of lives of the Nigerian citizens.”

In case you missed it

Nairametrics reported yesterday that the death toll from the collapsed 21-story -building on Gerrard road, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos State, has risen to 38.

South-West Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye stated that Additional two male bodies were recovered some minutes ago (Thursday morning) bringing the death toll to a total number of 38 (35 males and three females).

As friends and relatives of the victims of the collapsed building continue to express serious concern and disapproval over the way the emergency response is being carried out at the site, which they described as slow.