Lagos to prosecute developer of collapsed building

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The Lagos State Government has vowed to prosecute the missing developer of the three-storey building that collapsed and killed four labourers on Alayaki Lane, Freeman Street, Lagos Island, Lagos State.

The developer identified simply as Fumble has reportedly gone into hiding after the building caved in and also injured five labourers whom emergency responders rescued alive from the rubble on Saturday.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said the developer would be prosecuted for his actions, adding that the collapsed building was not approved.

He said, “The law on building is very clear; you cannot build without approval. That building was not approved, they asked the builders to stop building but they refused to stop and started building at night and weekends.

“It is high time we took responsibility for our actions; and for people who waste other people’s lives like this, the law is very clear, the state government will take over the building and the builder will be prosecuted.

“I can assure you that all of the people responsible for this will face the law. The long arm of the law will catch up with this guy (developer). He cannot commit a terrible crime and run away. The government will find him and he will face the consequences of his action.”

The victims, who were the labourers were said to be working on the building when it suddenly collapsed and trapped them beneath the rubble.

According to PUNCH, the compound where the collapsed building was situated was owned by a yet-to-be-identified man in the state.

After the man died, structures on the compound were reportedly divided among his wives.

A member of the family, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said after the structures were divided, the developer was contacted to develop the building.

The source said, “The developer is not among the victims; his workers were the ones working on the building when it collapsed. He was not there. I am also aware that the state government has issued a stop work order on the building.”

The building was said to be a bungalow that the developer converted to a three-storey building.

“But LABSCA issued a stop work order and sealed the place. The seal was still there yesterday and instead of the developer abiding by the seal, he mobilised laborers to start moving equipment and other materials through Freeman Street to continue the construction,” another source said.

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