Ikoyi building collapse: Osibona, wife arrested for contravening planning laws in 2020 – LASBCA
The Lagos State Building Control Authority on Friday says Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Limited, late Mr Femi Osibona, his wife and a number of staff were arrested for contravening certification and planning laws in 2020.
Standing before an Ikeja Coroner’s Court in Lagos, LASBCA Assistant Director in charge of the Inspectorate of Quality Control, Mrs Oluseun Randle, reiterated that that one of the duties of LABSCA was identification and possible removal of non-conforming structures in Lagos.
She made the revelation while being cross-examined by Mr Ahmed Gbadamosi, a counsel to the family of Mr Samuel Iwelu, one of the victims of the building collapse.
According to her, Osibona was arrested on June 10, 2020.
“He was arrested alongside his wife and staff for contravening certification and planning laws.
“They were arrested by a joint enforcement team of LASCA and LASPPPA. The security men at the gate put up an attitude by resisting the team’s access to the property.
“He was found to be in contravention of the law,” she said.
On his enquiry about events that transpired after Osibona’s arrest, Randle told Gbadamosi to make his enquiry via correspondence to the General Manager of LABSCA.
Gbadamosi noted that in Paragraph 27 of Randle’s Statement on Oath to the Coroner’s Court, she said Osibona had continued construction on the property until it collapsed on Nov. 1, 2021.
“Was this particular developer beyond the control of your agency, why was the developer who was arrested by the taskforce, taken to an unknown location by the police only to go back to continue developing the property? he asked.
Randle responded saying, “No developer is beyond LASBCA. The agency was not aware that he went back to the site.
“It was the report of the collapse of the 21-storey building that gave us an insight on the height and type of the structure at the time of the collapse.”
Responding to questions from Mr Yusuf Lawan, the counsel to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Randle said LABSCA was unaware that Osibona had returned to the construction site after his arrest.
“The monitoring officers were not going to the site because of the COVID-19 lockdown, then #EndSARS occured.
“All our monitoring officers fell under the category of those asked to stay at home,” Randle stated.
NAN reports that out of the three high-rise buildings (Blocks A, B and C) which were situated on Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Block B (21-storeys) collapsed on November 1 killing 46 persons while 15 persons were rescued alive.
One of the deceased was Mr Femi Osibona, the Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Ltd., the contractor to the project.