A structural engineer, Muritala Olawale, on Wednesday, told a Coroner Inquest constituted to investigate the collapsed 21-storey building at Ikoyi, Lagos that he could not vouch for the integrity of the remaining two high-rises (Block A and C).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Olawale, the managing director of Prowess Engineering Nigeria Ltd, spoke while answering questions from counsel to the Lagos State Government, Akin George.
Mr George referenced Mr Olawale’s letter to Femi Osibona, the managing director of Fourscore Heights Limited, dated February 20, 2020, in which he withdrew his structural consultancy services.
The letter, which went viral online , was released on social media in the wake of the November 1 building collapse.
Mr George noted that the letter had specifically excluded liability for Block B which was the collapsed building and wondered if the letter supported the integrity of the other high-rise blocks (Blocks A and C).
”I am not sure of the other buildings. We were not part of the approval process, he (Osibona)is our client. We just did what they told us.
“We never got milestone approvals for each of the floors. We were bothered, we kept asking and he said that if the government agencies had any problem, they can come and lock up the place.
We did not build Blocks A and C, we supervised it. Fourscore was the builder. The client (Fourscore Heights Ltd) doubled as the contractor/builder,” he said.
Mr Olawale noted that when he realised that standard procedures were not being observed, his company withdrew their services to Mr Osibona via the letter dated February 20, 2020.
When we withdrew, the letter was addressed to Fourscore Heights Ltd and it was not copied to any government agency.
“Osibona was the only one who was dealing with the regulatory agencies. I also saw the letter I wrote to him on social media on November 1, the day of the building collapse, ” he said.
The Coroner, Oyetade Komolafe adjourned proceedings until December 16.
NAN reports that 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.