No fewer than four people have been confirmed killed while four others were rescued from the collapsed high rise building on Gerald road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Among those trapped is Femi Osibona the developer of the building even as reports said the structural consultant of the building reportedly withdrew from the construction over irreconcilable differences few months ago.
It is however not known if the consultant followed up on his withdrawal by reporting to the authorities as construction allegedly continued despite the fact that the property has no structural consultant.
Osibona, the MD of Fourscore Homes, was the brain behind 360 Degrees Towers – three highrise buildings of 15-Stories often referred to as Luxury in the Sky and the Shalom Apartments in Ikoyi, among other projects in Lagos and the United Kingdom, where he was celebrated as the first African developer to raise a 7-Storey building at 113, Albion Drive, London Fields, E8, 4LZ, in East London. He was reportedly on a visit to the site of another of his big projects when the building collapsed.
Fifty-year-old Osibona hailed from Ikenne, in Ogun State. He studied Business and Finance at Croydon University in the UK.
Osibona, who started his real estate business in London, in 1997, also built the Fourscore Mansions in Waterkloof, Pretoria, South Africa.
He once revealed in an interview that he was selling shoes in London before he ventured into real estate and built over 50 projects in the city.
Osibona, the CEO of Fourscore Heights Limited, owners of the building, was warned in 2020 of the doubtful integrity of the building.
It was also gathered that the Lagos State Planning Authority had cause to seal off the project site early this year, but the intervention of top shots who had the ears of Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo led to the unsealing of the property. Osibona is from Ikenne in Ogun State, where the Vice President hails from.
The Director-General of LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, announced that heavy-duty equipment and life detection equipment have been deployed to the scene.
“All first responders are en route to secure the scene while the heavy-duty equipment and life detection equipment have been dispatched,” he said.
Olayemi Bello told The Associated Press that five of his friends were trapped in the building and he feared the worst.
“When they work finish, they will come outside and they will play with us and talk about the work,” he said. “Now, nobody. All of them are dead.”
Construction worker Eric Tetteh said that he and his brother had managed to escape. But he estimated that more than 100 people were inside the building at the time it crumbled into a pile of debris.
Workers said the high rise apartment building had been under construction for about two years, and it was not immediately known what had caused the collapse.
However, such incidents are relatively common in Lagos because enforcement of building code regulations is weak. Other observers blame shoddy work by private developers eager to meet demand for housing in the megacity.
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