The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Gardens, owners of the five-storey building that collapsed in Lekki on Tuesday March 7, Richard Nyong,has been detained at Panti Police Station in Lagos.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had on Wednesday March 9, ordered all directors of Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited to submit themselves to the State’s Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, within 24 hours or face immediate arrest.
Nyong complied with the directive by immediately reporting himself to the office of the Commissioner of Police in company of his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), and was detained after interrogation. The Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police, Mrs. Dolapo Badmos, said Mr. Nyong will be charged to court once investigations were completed.
The Lagos State government speaking after the building collapse said that state officials had issued a violation notice on the building for exceeding the number of approved floors but that “in a brazen act of defiance and impunity, the owners of the building, Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited, the promoters of Lekki Gardens, criminally unsealed the property and continued building beyond the approved floors until the unfortunate incident of Tuesday which has led to the death of over 30 persons.”
The owners of the property Lekki Gardens, in a statement after the collapse said that work on the collapsed building had been suspended since January 2016, due to reported structural defects.
According to them, company had discovered after conducting a preliminary structural assessments, that the building had some structural defects immediately halted construction work on the building and revoked all construction jobs assigned to the company for not implementing standard safety and structural procedures on-site.
The building located at the Chisco bus-stop opposite Oando Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, collapsed at about 4.30 am Tuesday morning after a thunder storm which was followed by a heavy down pour.
The number of deaths rose to 34 as at late Wednesday as rescue operation ended. Thirteen people were rescued alive. The victims are said to be mainly workers with the building’s construction firm, who slept in it overnight.