BY Ayodele Oluwafemi
Obafemi Hamzat, deputy governor of Lagos state, says construction at the collapsed building in Ikoyi was once stopped after it failed a structural integrity test.
He said the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) sealed the premises for four months when some “anomalies” were observed.
On Monday, the 21-storey building located at Gerrard Road in Ikoyi came tumbling down, leaving many trapped in the rubble.
During a visit to the site on Tuesday, the deputy governor said the approval of the building was issued about three years ago.
He said the number of those inside the building cannot be ascertained at the moment, adding that two rescued victims gave two conflicting figures — 24 and 28 — of the number of persons.
“We are not sure of the number of people inside there. It is not a residential building yet. it is not that we have tenants or a list of people,” he said.
“As a matter of fact, if you are aware, this location was sealed for about four months sometimes ago. It was sealed because our agency came in to do structural tests and saw some anomalies. So they shut it down for those things to be corrected.
“The second building will also be audited in terms of integrity test, and of course, if we find anything, then the appropriate action will be taken.”
Hamzat also clarified that the collapsed building got approval for 21 storeys and not 15 as earlier said by Gbolahan Oki, general manager, LASBCA.
The deputy governor said it is possible that the second building received approval for 15 storeys.
“This particular one (pointing to the collapsed building) was approved for 21 floors, not 15. If you count the second building it is 14 or 15,” he said.
“The approval was done about three years ago, it is not something new. It is the construction that failed apparently from what we can see.”
As at the time of filing this report, 10 persons have died and nine others rescued alive during the operation to save victims trapped in the rubble.