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No less than 42 deaths and 15 survivors have been recorded to date following the collapse of a 21-story building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide. Sanwo-Olu, revealed this over the weekend when he toured the wreck site with All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Nasarawa State Governor Engr . Abdullahi Sule, among others.
The governor, who spoke briefly to the media after the visit, said: “Nine survivors were initially recorded with 42 deaths now. We have six additional survivors who were recently discovered at Falomo Police Hospital, making a total of 15 survivors.
The owner of Fourscore Homes, the building company, Femi Osibona, was among those who lost their lives in the rubble. His remains were found last Thursday and have since been deposited in the morgue.
An official with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who confirmed the development at the site, said rescuers recovered Osibona’s body last Thursday evening.
It will be recalled that the 21-storey building collapsed around 2 p.m. last Monday when workers were on the site.
Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu has launched an independent six-man investigative team to shed light on the circumstances of the collapse. The team had 30 days to submit their report.
The governor also gave conditions under which the survivors of the disaster would be released from the general hospital of the island of Lagos, in Marina.
Sanwo-Olu during his visit to the hospital last Thursday said the survivors would not be released until the medical team gave the green light regarding their condition.
On his Instagram page, the governor, who shared photos of his visit to the hospital, said: “I visited the survivors of the collapsed building this morning (Thursday) and gave them my word that they will receive the best care in the hospital, and will not be released until they receive the green light from the medical team caring for them.
“As much as we sympathize with everyone involved, we will also make sure to be open and thorough in investigating the cause of the collapse.
“In this regard, a high-level professional investigation group has been established, whose members are professionals from outside the government. The panel, which is chaired by the president of the Nigerian Institute of Planners, Toyin Ayinde, received clear terms of reference, with a 30-day mission to tell us what went wrong at the site.
“The terms of reference of the panel also include checking whether there has been a compromise of building codes by the developer, his contractor and statutory regulators.”
Members of the investigative group comprising professional builders, urban planners, structural engineers and legal practitioners, all from the private sector, include the President of the Nigerian Institute of Planners (NITP), Mr. Toyin Ayinde, in as chairman and Ekundayo Onajobi, a lawyer in a private law firm, as secretary.
The other members of the panel are a structural engineer, Dr Akintilo Idris Adeleke; an architect, Yinka Ogundairo; representative of the Institute of Builders, Mr. Godfrey O. Godfrey, and Ms. Bunmi Ibrahim, lawyer in real estate law.

By: Boye Salau

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