Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday directed the indefinite suspension of the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, Mr. Gbolahan Oki.
His suspension comes about 24 hours after a high-rise building collapsed in the Ikoyi area of the state.
The Governor, in a statement signed by Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, described the suspension as a “first step” towards finding out “what went wrong” to cause the building collapse.
The State Government is also setting up an independent panel to probe the collapse.
“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,” the statement said.
“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 but 14 have been discovered dead.
The survivors have been taken to the hospital.
Meanwhile, rescue operations have continued on the site to save more lives.
“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),” the statement said.
“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.”
Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, was at the collapsed building site on Tuesday to “encourage rescuers and comfort relations of those trapped in the rubble”, the statement said.
“Dr. Hamzat left the site for the Lagos Island General Hospital to see the survivors.
“The government will embark on further foundation and borehole acidic level tests to ascertain the impact on the collapsed building. These tests, particularly the borehole acidic level, is important for the entire Gerrard Road and adjoining areas.
“We wish to state that there will be no cover-up in the search for the truth in this incident. If anybody is found to have been indicted, he or she will face the law.
“It is important to restate that all developers and property owners are required to adhere strictly to all Building Codes and Planning Regulations to ensure the safety of lives and property. Those who ignore such regulations, breaking seals and defying enforcement, will surely be prosecuted.”