The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), has told a Coroner’s Inquest on the collapse of the 21-storey building in Ikoyi, Lagos, that construction of the three high-rise blocks began before provisional approval was granted.
Counsel for LASBCA, Mr A.S Odugbemi, disclosed this while questioning Mr Muritala Olawale, the Managing Director of Prowess Engineering Nigeria Ltd.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Olawale was a former consultant structural engineer to the project.
He withdrew his services via a letter dated Feb. 20, 2020, over disputes on how the project was structurally executed.
Odugbemi during proceedings disputed the contents of paragraph 17 of Olawale’s Statement on Oath to the Inquest.
He stated that late Mr Femi Osibona, the Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Ltd., contractor to the project, had informed his team that he had received provisional approval for the project’s construction.
But Olawale’s statement on oath said Osibona showed his team a copy of the provisional approval from the Lagos State government and ordered them to commence construction on the site.
Disputing Olawale’s claims, Odugbemi said LASBCA never granted Osibona a provisional planning permit when the team moved to the site to commence construction in January 2019.
He stated that LASBCA granted provisional approval in April 2019.
“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.
Responding, Olawale said “I will be surprised. All the approval processes were being handled by the client (Osibona).
“I cannot answer the questions right now. I need to check my records.”
Olawale did not give a specific answer to Odugbemi’s query on whether the three high-rise blocks were covered by a general insurance policy as required by law.
He, however, informed the panel that before construction, a soil test was conducted at the site by another company contracted to do the job.
“We have submitted the result of the soil test of the site to other panels investigating the collapse,” he said.
Panic in Onitsha as tanker fire rages nonstop
There is currently panic in Onitsha, Anambra State as firefighters battle to put out a raging fire caused by a fallen petrol tanker.
A source told DAILY POST that the fire started after a petrol tanker conveying fuel fell around Obodoukwu road, along the Onitsha – Owerri road in the commercial city.
As at the time of filing this report, the fire which started in the morning hours has raged for about two hours.
“We are now afraid because the fire is spreading very fast, and we fear that it may spread to the Relief market,” a source in the area said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Fire Officer in Anambra, Mr Martin Agbili who spoke to our correspondent said his men were still battling to save the situation.
He declined comments when asked to access the level of damage caused by the fire, saying the true level of damage can not be ascertained until the fire has totally been extinguished.
“You may have to call back much later in the day if you need a true assessment. For now, our men are still battling the fire, and we can only talk about casualty figures or material losses when we are done,” he said.
Youths set two suspected robbers ablaze in Imo
Nemesis on Thursday caught up with two suspected robbers along Nkume junction by Mgbabano-Umuaka Road, Eziama Obaire in Nkwere council area of Imo State as angry youths overpowered and set them ablaze.
The suspects allegedly perpetrate their nefarious acts using motorcycles.
The charred remains of the suspected thieves were still smouldering when our correspondent visited the scene.
DAILY POST gathered that the incident occurred at about 10:00 am, when four robbers on two motorcycles tried to overpower a commercial motorcycle rider at Nkume junction by Mgbabano-Umuaka Road, Eziama.
An eye witness, Chikezie Nwadike said the duo who were members of a notorious gang of four men using two Motorcycles to operate were about to rob a commercial motorcyclist before luck ran out on them.
He said the alarm raised by the commercial cyclist attracted angry youths, who caught and pounced on the two of them and immediately set them on fire after two other suspects escaped.
He said they thought their operation would be swift, but it turned out to be the end-of-the-road for them. They arrived on two motorcycles and the two on the passenger seat alighted and suddenly accosted the Commercial cyclist trying to snatch his bike.
He immediately screamed at the sight of a gun but in a swift reaction, irate youths trooped to the scene, chased the thieves to where they were overpowered.”
They were beaten blue-black, which resulted in their death before they were set ablaze.
The situation has reportedly put fear on motorists and pedestrians plying the axis.
When DAILY POST called the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Micheal Abbattam to confirm the incident, he claimed he had not been briefed and promised to call the DPO of the area where the incident happened.
EFCC arraigns Omritas Energy owner over N57.6m dud cheque
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arraigned Oluremi Ebun Philips before Justice S. O. Solebo of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos.
The defendant and her company, Omritas Energy Limited, face a five-count charge bordering on stealing and issuance of dud cheques.
In one of the counts, Philips and Omritas Energy in 2016 “fraudulently converted and stole N57,690,000, property of AYM Shafa Limited”.
The amount was meant for the supply of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) which they failed to deliver.
The cheque issued, when presented for payment, was dishonoured by the bank due to insufficient funds.
Phillips pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. Prosecuting counsel, T. J. Banjo prayed the court for a trial date and for her remand.
Defence counsel, Akin Olatunji told the judge that a bail application had been filed and served on the prosecution.
Justice Solebo adjourned till February 14 and 15, 2022 for trial and ruling on the bail application.
The defendant will remain at a Correctional Centre until the next hearing.
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