The six-man panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State government to investigate the Ikoyi building collapse has said it will only speak after doing investigations and analysing documents in respect of the incident.
The chairperson of the panel, Toyin Ayinde, disclosed this on Monday during a press briefing on the activities of the panel.
The collapse of the 21-storey building at 44 B,C,D Gerrard Road in Ikoyi, led to the death of 46 persons, including the owner of the property, while 15 persons survived the incident.
The panel, which comprises Mr Ayinde, President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners; Akintilo Idris; Yinka Ogundairo, an architect; Godfrey Godfrey, a builder; Bunmi Ibraheem and Ekundayo Onajobi, began sitting on November 4.
The sitting of the panel is, however, closed to journalists, with the state government saying it was done to avoid distractions.
While briefing the press, Mr Ayinde said so far, the activities of the panel include setting up a secretariat for logistics and conduct of activities; visit to the site of the collapse for a general assessment; visit to the General Hospital, Broad Street to interview some of the survivors; engaging the services of consultant building materials testing laboratory and land surveyor to conduct verticality tests on the remaining structures.
Other activities are writing the relevant government MDA’s to request for all files relating to the collapsed building, and writing to all consultants and developer/contractors associated with the project.
“There may have been concerns or agitations about why the tribunal has not spoken to the press. We will like to state that members of the tribunal are professionals, and our calling demands that we make statements from informed and verified positions.
“We are compelled to speak only when investigations have been made, reports and documents submitted, queried, analysed and discussions held with relevant stakeholders,” Mr Ayinde said.
The panel chair said they have listed more than 30 parties relevant to the construction industry and the collapsed building, whose views, position papers and recommendations would be received and considered.
“The tribunal would like to state that some documents have been received from some government MDA’s and members have started studying them. We have also interviewed some of the LASG staff in the relevant MDA’s.
“We, however, appeal to members of the public, professional bodies and construction industry stakeholders, as well as individuals who have useful information and invite them to submit memoranda which have direct bearing on the particular issue being investigated, as well as their recommendations to prevent future occurrence,” Mr Ayinde said.
He said all papers can be submitted to the panel via the email address: [email protected], on or before November 24.
The members of the Tribunal set up for the investigation of Ikoyi Building Collapse briefing the press on Monday.
Terms of Reference of Tribunal
According to Mr Ayinde, the tribunal was set up on the following terms of reference:
• Determining the cause(s) of the collapse of the 21-storey building under construction;
• Determining whether there was full compliance with the Physical Planning, building, building materials testing, Laws and regulations in Lagos State by the developer or by any other person;
• Determining whether there (were) any supervisory, oversight or enforcement lapses on the part of any of the relevant regulatory authorities in the State;
• Investigating and procuring from all listed professionals on the project their contracts of service, drawings, minutes of site meetings, schedules and all other relevant documents that may assist in the inquiry;
• Investigating and conducting necessary tests on materials used for the construction of the collapsed building;
• Obtaining and scrutinizing all project drawings and specifications filed and submitted by the Developer to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development and its sister agencies for Building and Urban Development Permits/Approvals with respect to the collapsed building;
• Making recommendations on how to best ensure the safety of the construction space and prevent building collapse in Lagos State, both for development of projects and to ensure an effective and efficient regulatory environment;
• Recommending disciplinary action or prosecution of any person or corporate body found culpable, and
• Investigating any other matters incidental to any of the Terms of Reference stated above.
Although the panel was given 30 days to complete its task, the panel chair said they will not hesitate to request more time if it is required to carry out their assignment.