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LASBCA: Femi Osibona did not get approval before construction started on collapsed Ikoyi building

LASBCA: Femi Osibona did not get approval before construction started on collapsed Ikoyi building
January 12
18:16 2022

The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) says approval for the 21-storey building that collapsed at Gerrard road in Ikoyi had not been given before construction started.

A.S. Odugbemi, counsel for LASBCA, said this on Tuesday while appearing at a sitting on a coroner’s inquest set up to investigate the building collapse.

The structure caved in on November 1, 2021, with more than 40 fatalities recorded — Femi Osibona, the managing director of Fourscore Heights Ltd, the developer handling the project, was one of the casualties.

Fielding questions from Odugbemi, Muritala Olawale, managing director of Prowess Engineering Nigeria Ltd, which withdrew its services from the 21-storey building in February 2020, said Osibona informed his team that he had secured provisional approval for the project’s construction.

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Olawale, in his statement on oath, said Osibona showed his team a copy of the provisional approval from the Lagos government and ordered them to start construction on the site.

However, contrary to Olawale’s claims, Odugbemi said the LASBCA never granted a provisional planning permit to Osibona until April 2019 as against January 2019 when construction started.

“Will you be surprised if evidence is provided to you right now that work had started before the provisional planning approval was granted in April 2019?” Odugbemi asked.

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Responding, Olawale said: “I will be surprised. All the approval processes were being handled by the client (Osibona).”

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

“I cannot answer the questions right now. I need to check my records,” he said.

He, however, informed the panel that prior to construction, a soil test was conducted at the site by another company contracted to do the job.

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

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