So who are the culpable parties involved? And what sanctions are they going to face?
How can this shame of a thing be prevented from reoccurring in the future?
Are their still many more buildings with this same type of issues waiting like a time bomb?
Just imagine that the building was actually finished and families had packed in and then ………boom 😳
This unfortunate building collapse of yesterday, Monday November 1, 2021 has raised many highbrows and dusts at the same time and brought to the fore many questions.
A few of which we have asked above and many that we haven’t yet asked, but all needing urgent answers in order for us to be able to prevent another time bomb of a situation like this, which could take many lives again in the case of another disaster of this sort in the future!
The boss (GM) of LASBCA- Lagos State Building Control Agency, a ‘Mr. Gbolahan Oki’ is (acclaimed) to have said that ‘Fourscore Heights Ltd’ owned by Femi Osibona in flagrant disregard and abuse, built 21 floors after only gotten approval to build 15 floors, thereby exceeding the limit approved by as much as 6 floors! (could he have actually said that?) f he truly said that, then that agency must explain to the public then, how Fourscore Heights Ltd and Mr. Femi Osibona were able to add a whole 6 floors above the limit aapproved by them, without them catching on or knowing he was deliberately building above the limit? Is this agency just only about giving approvals alone and not also able to monitor to make sure people build strictly to their given approval? Are they just accepting they are only actually a rubber stamping agency and nothing more?
A whole 6 floors of a building is not a mirage at all and not a joke! Was it built by magic and then camouflaged in such a way that it befuddles the brain or eye? Leading to the question, how many times did the various agencies involved, do their statutory duty not only by just granting approvals, but also by going on inspections to prevent things like this from happening? This would have been one of those very important times where “prevention would have been better than cure”!
The ‘LASBCA’ and other Government agencies involved likes of ‘Lagos Materials Testing Labs’, ‘Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning’, the Town Planning authority and more needs to be investigated forthwith and all those found culpable in the agencies must be sanctioned without mercy to prevent future disasters. Or was it that certain officials may have been paid to look away?
For us to understand how compromised many that are in the top hierarchy of the agencies may be, it is believed that many of their directors are in fact ‘multimillionaires’ many times over, if not billionaires having as much as 500M and far more and owning humongous properties everywhere. And these are people on salaries of between N250,000 to N400,000 per month! So how were they able to have so much and own so much? What this actually points to, is that scams and deals are the order of the day in these agencies and ministries! So they can easily be compromised then!
Mr. Femi Osibona who owns Fourscore Heights Ltd, if he comes out alive from this ordeal or should we say debacle and we fervently pray and hope he does, has a whole lot of explaining to do! How could someone of his supposed caliber with such supposed rich pedigree and antecedence in property development and real estate management of not less than 2 decades and spanning 3 continents- Europe, North America & Africa, who has built and managed properties not just in Nigeria, but in Pretoria, South Africa, Atlanta, in the US and London in the UK with the proper understanding of the best practices that’s the order of the day in those climes he had excelled in now come to Lagos, Nigeria, one of Africa’s supposed most advanced states and wants to cut corners? Which has now led to unfortunate deaths? No one would ever pray to have the deaths of others on their heads!
He supposedly didn’t even just flout the given approval by just one floor, but he went all crazy going all of a whooping 6 floors! We are too sure he wouldn’t have dared to do that, if it wasn’t a common place occurrence here already! That’s if it can be established that he actually built without approvals. It’s not only Mr. Osibona here that may be liable if he is actually found wanting, his company also and those firms he engaged to help build and all staff members of the agencies involved in giving the go ahead for building would also be liable for murder and some maybe manslaughter then! Because it would have meant they knew they were building a trap!
Is Prowess Engineering Ltd that was 1st engaged in the building of the other 2 buildings and 4 floors of the 3rd building liable in anyway too? To a certain degree they are actually liable for negligence!
So in February 2020 according to a letter, whose ‘authenticity still needs proper verification’ had allegedly written to Mr. Femi Osibona making certain (now) well founded allegations (by foresight) and they immediately withdrew their services as alleged in the letter signed by a Muritala Olawale, the supposed MD of Prowess Engineering Ltd. Their letter which has since become ‘public property’ and now maybe exhibit 1, had warned about integrity issues concerning that now unfortunate 3rd building. They had raised doubts then about the structural integrity of the particular building which has now collapsed! They like a clairvoyant had said that they could only vouch for the strength and integrity of the 2 other buildings that makes the trio, but for the 3rd building, they could only certify for the 1st 4 floors only, which were floors they were involved with as as at that time. It must have meant that they had either noticed or suspected some hanky-panky in the making!
For them to have raised the hoopla (alarm) then in 2020 via that letter they had supposedly sent to Femi Osibona, it would have meant they were privy to certain facts, maybe unpalatable informations they couldn’t agree with, which they felt could later raise dusts in the future and which could indict, hence they couldn’t allow their integrity to be compromised for filthy lucre or so it seems! Was that letter actually written as far back as that 2020 date? Was the supposed letter truly delivered? Who actually received it? Is there an acknowledgement copy that was signed by the recipient?
From their letter it was quite obvious that they had feared that a disaster was looming somewhat then as at a year plus ago which has now happened! (As was stated emphatically in the 2nd paragraph of their letter of withdrawal of services.
Part of what they feared most as was stated was the integrity of the concrete mix test. And they had stated clearly they weren’t privy to the report on that most required and quite important, concrete mix test!
But if that be the case did they report their fears to the relevant agencies/authorities to prevent a likely future disaster that was looming, even as they were withdrawing their services?
We doubt very much that they did!
The sad aspect of the seeming gross negligence of those who should normally care and be their brother’s keeper in order to prevent a future sad occurrence is the reality of what we now facing, as many have died already, with as many injured too and more are still likely to die and yet more would be brought out injured too.
Can we even just try to imagine the kind of disaster waiting to happen were that building fully finished and then fully occupied? 21 floors would have meant at least 21 to 40 families. If on the average it’s a family of 4 with at least a staff member, it would have meant between 100 to 200 or more people’s lives!
According to the available information, the building was already 65% near completion and was going to open sometime in 2022 and many had already subscribed to it having paid humongous amounts denominated in foreign currency to secure their own piece of the upcoming beautiful pie! Some have claimed the place was going for at least $1m dollars which comes to about N500M more or less!
The place was marketed vigorously as a “one of a kind structure” that was going to dazzle all others having, having a “360 degrees view of the plush and posh Ikoyi surroundings”. The space per apartment was planned to be much bigger than its rivals, like the Belmonte, one of the selling points. All the amenities to be provided were supposed to be top notch and in fact the best available, supposedly comparable to avowed 7 star hotels (Smart homes powered by the latest artificial intelligence). It was even tagged “luxury in the sky”. But to achieve this aim of shutting all mouths in stupor, while leaving others mouth agape in awe and incredulity, was this widely travelled man willing to cut corners like the average Nigerian and African are won’t to do in a system that willingly supports such corner cutting, in order to make more profit?
Could a man who supposedly paid a staggering N600M Naira alone, in the form of approvals only 3 months prior have wanted to jeopardise himself by using substandard materials to build a multibillion Naira valued edifice he wanted to by all means show off at the end of the day? The land alone would have been bought for several billions, the structure itself also would have cost another humongous amount.
Now that many have died in the process and the unfortunate deaths of probable innocents, who knew nothing about the near or remote cause of this disaster are now on his head and some others complicit in the whole scheme! Would people be brought to book if they are found wanting?
It may be that many standard rules of the thumb expected to have been upheld in building such a gigantic structure like this were jettisoned and deliberately so too.
For those that would come out alive by the grace of God, injured or traumatised one way or the other or maimed as its most likely, which insurance company would now cater for their needs?
Good news though is that voices have been heard under the rubble, we only pray that the rescue operations gets to them on time. Two of those still trapped under are the owner of the collapsed edifice himself Femi Osibona and an American based Nigerian Wale Bob Oseni.