Ikoyi building collapse: Death toll now up to 20 – NEMA

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As rescuers continued their hunt for survivors, the death toll from the fallen Ikoyi skyscraper has risen to 20 on Tuesday evening.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported that rescue workers had found 20 victims buried beneath the rubble of the building.

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Nine individuals were retrieved alive during the operation, while those who were injured are being treated at the Lagos Island General Hospital in Marina.

Femi Osibona, the managing director of Fourscore Heights Limited, had his assistant among the bodies retrieved. On Tuesday evening, the personal assistant’s body, identified only as Nifemi, was exhumed from the ruins.

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Workers were working on the site when the building at 20 Gerrard Road, Ikoyi collapsed around 2:00 p.m. on Monday.

Over 50 people were trapped when the building collapsed, and victims’ families and friends blamed rescue workers for moving too slowly.

Journalists are not permitted to enter the site of the collapsed building.

More survivors are still being searched by rescuers.

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Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat visited the building fall site on Tuesday and refuted Gbolahan Oki, the general manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), who claimed that the tower exceeded the allowed vertical limit.

Mr. Hamzat stated that the developer had consent for a 21-story structure to be built on the property, not the 15-story building reported by Mr. Oki previously.

Usman Baba, the Inspector General of Police, said adequate investigations would be conducted during a visit to the location on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, information commissioner Gbenga Omotoso said on Tuesday that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has suspended Mr. Oki.

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“The Lagos State Government is setting up an independent panel to probe the collapse of the 21-story building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi. Members of the panel will be drawn from the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), and other professional bodies,” said the statement.

It went on to say that an impartial review would look at the incident’s remote and immediate causes and provide recommendations on how to prevent similar incidents in the future.

The investigation is separate from the government’s ongoing internal investigation.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said the government will surely find out what went wrong and punish those indicted,” the statement further explained. “The governor, as a first step, has directed that the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), Mr. Gbolahan Oki, an architect, be suspended from work immediately. The suspension is indefinite.”⁴

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