December 5, 2021

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Sanwo-Olu inaugurates tribunal on collapsed Ikoyi building

Gov. Sanwo-Olu (left) and Mr Toyin Ayinde

Gov. Sanwo-Olu (left) and Mr Toyin Ayinde

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, inaugurates members of investigation tribunal to inquire into causes of collapsed 21-storey building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi.

By Florence Onuegbu

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, inaugurated members of the investigation tribunal to inquire into the causes of the collapsed 21-storey building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi.

Sanwo-Olu also signed an executive order legitimising the composition of the panel and empowering it to invite or summon anyone and organisation useful for the investigation.

Speaking during the inauguration held at the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) building, Ikoyi, he said that the state government would unravel and get to the root cause of what had happened.

”So that indeed, we all can truly learn from this very unfortunate incident and we all can be part of history and ensure that we can live in a safe and secure environment,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said that the duty of the panel would begin immediately and they were expected to report back within 30 days, while urging the members to discharge their duties without fear or favour.

Members of the tribunal drawn from the private sector included the President of Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr Toyin Ayinde (chairman), while Ekundayo Onajobi, a lawyer in a private law firm, is the Secretary.

Other panel members are a structural engineer, Dr Akintilo Adeleke; an architect, Yinka Ogundairo; representative of Institute of Builders, Mr Godfrey O. Godfrey, and Mrs Bunmi Ibrahim, a real estate lawyer.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu (4th left), flanked by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (3rd left); Chairman, Tribunal of Inquiry into the Ikoyi building Collapse, Mr Toyin Ayinde (4th right) and other members of the Tribunal during their inauguration at LASWA Building, Ikoyi, on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu (4th left), flanked by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat (3rd left); Chairman, Tribunal of Inquiry into the Ikoyi building Collapse, Mr Toyin Ayinde (4th right) and other members of the Tribunal during their inauguration at LASWA Building, Ikoyi, on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021

Sanwo-Olu said that the public deserved to know what went wrong, adding that though the work of the panel would not bring back the lives lost, but would help to prevent reoccurrence of such tragic event.

”We are gathered here to perform a sad but necessary duty, which is the inauguration of a six-member Panel of Inquiry into the collapse of the 21-storey building at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, on Monday.

”It is a solemn moment for me personally, but this is an important assignment. Indeed, the generation coming after will not forgive us if we don’t do the right thing on this incident.

”Lagosians and the world will be watching and waiting keenly, with the full expectation that the immediate and remote causes of this tragedy will be uncovered,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu identified with distraught families of victims trapped under the collapsed structure, expressing the belief that the outcome of the investigation would assuage their pains and worries.

He said that the oath taken by the tribunal members empowered them with adequate privileges of government powers to conduct independent investigation without fear, favour, interference and restrictions.

The governor urged the tribunal members to bring their expertise and professionalism to bear in unravelling the infractions that brought down the building.

”What this tribunal will be doing over the course of the next few weeks will have important implications for building safety and for emergency response, not just in Lagos, but in the entire country.

”It will also go a long way toward ensuring that the families of the innocent victims of this avoidable tragedy experience some sort of closure and get justice,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Giving the vote of assurance, Ayinde said Lagos was in its ”dark period”, given the record of fatalities from the site of the collapsed building.

He pledged on behalf of members to discharge the duty with all sense of responsibility and in line with ethics.

”We accept at our own liberty and with humility the important assignment the state has placed before us. We will go ahead with a sense of dedicated responsibility.

”This exercise can only make the expected difference if we all agree to place value on Nigerian life.

”As members, we promise to be guided by professional standards and hope that we will chart a new course that will guarantee the safety of lives of Nigeria citizens,” Ayinde said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)