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General News of Thursday, 11 November 2021

Source: www.tribuneonlineng.com

Ikoyi building: death toll now 45, COREN inaugurates Nine-Member Panel

Collapsed Ikoyi building Collapsed Ikoyi building

COUNCIL for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) on Wednesday inaugurated a nine-member fact-finding panel to conduct inquiry into the collapse of a 21-storey building in Lagos. 

The COREN inquisition panel came on the heels of another panel set up last Wednesday by the Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, shortly after he visited the site of the collapsed edifice.

The panel members are: George Okoroma, Bunmi Ajayi, Mrs Buki Ejiwumi, Victor Oyenuga, Eddy Atumonyogo, Dr Kehinde Osifala, Nurain Sulyman, Will Beresibo, Ibikunle Ogunbayo and Tamide Ajinnawo, President of COREN, Ali Rabiu, inaugurated the nine-member fact-finding panel at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday. 

He said that members of the panel were arrived at after several consultations with various stakeholders in the built environment. 

This, according to him, is pursuant to Section 1(1) (h) of the Engineers (Registration, etc.) (Amendment) Act, 2018, that empowers COREN to investigate engineering failures. 

The panel’s terms of reference include: to carry out a comprehensive inquisition on the remote and/or immediate cause(s) of the collapse; to gather, record and analyse all relevant engineering data available on-site; to confirm contractor’s compliance with Lagos State Building Development Regulations and others; find out the level of involvement or otherwise of practitioners on the project leading to the collapse; and carry out an integrity test of the two standing towers at the precinct of the collapse. 

In a condolence message to the state government and the families of those who lost their loved ones and relatives in the incident, COREN expressed sadness over the tragedy. Lagos State government on Wednesday disclosed that two more bodies have been recovered from the site of the collapsed 21- storey building on Gerrard Road in Ikoyi area of the state, shooting the total number so far recovered from the rubbles to 45. 

This was just as the state government said identification of bodies of the victims of the incident had continued at IDH, Yaba, Lagos Mainland, pointing out that 32 families had come forward to submit samples for DNA to identify bodies that they wished to claim. 

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Alausa, Ikeja, while giving an update on the incident, just as he assured that affected bodies would be released to the families “in cases where identification is clear and there are no arguments.” 

According to the commissioner, a committee to supervise the identification and release of the bodies has begun work, saying it comprises senior officials of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice. 

Speaking further, Omotoso debunked speculations that directive had been given for the demolition of the two 15- storey buildings still standing at the site of the 21-storey collapsed building in Ikoyi, Lagos, saying no such directive was given by the state government. 

He said the Panel of Inquiry instituted to establish issues surrounding the collapse of the building had continued to sit and an integrity test was yet to be conducted on the buildings, declaring that was, therefore, wrong to assert or speculate that the buildings would be demolished. 

“Contrary to speculations, no directive has been given for the demolition of the two high-rise buildings standing at the site of the 21-storey collapsed building in Ikoyi, Lagos. 

“The operation at the site of the collapsed building continues. Vehicular movement around the site has been smooth, following the reopening of the road,” he added

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