Blessing towing Company

The six-man tribunal set up by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the collapsed 21-storey building on Gerrard Road in Ikoyi, Lagos has submitted that the collapse of the building was the result of the erosion of professional ethics and due diligence.

Toyin Ayinde, the Tribunal Chairman, who is also the State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, in a statement during the presentation of the tribunal’s report on Wednesday to Governor Sanwo-Olu, said that “building collapse is rooted in the collapse of values, morals and ethics which we need to work on as a nation.”

Those present at the presentation included the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN) and other members of the panel.

The statement reads,

“Having spent approximately six weeks on this assignment, we now wish to make our submission to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who constituted the Tribunal.

“We need to note, however, that building collapse is rooted in the collapse of values, morals and ethics which we need to work on as a nation.

“We cannot sow the wind and not expect to reap the whirlwind. Therefore, ethics and due diligence need to be restored.

To execute this assignment successfully, the tribunal visited the project site for a general assessment; coordinated activities of the consultants who conducted tests on the site; received and reviewed documents from relevant MDAs; conducted 35 interview sessions; interrogated 91 persons; requested and received a total of 21 memoranda; and accessed the home of the late C.E.O. of Fourscore Heights Limited, Mr. Olufemi Osibona, to gather any other useful/relevant information to support the tribunal’s fact-finding mission.

“The tribunal further received submissions from professional associations, groups and individuals that helped in formulating the recommendations proposed.

“The tribunal had the opportunity to access the home of the late CEO of Fourscore Heights Limited, in the presence of members of his family, where some documents that were scanned helped in gaining further insights into the case, particularly the processes that led to the construction and eventual collapse.

“The tribunal also hosted a representation of the developer’s company comprising two legal firms. It is on record that in their first and second appearances, the lawyers had expressed the fact that they were external lawyers to the company and had little knowledge about the case in hand.

“We were, however, later to receive a request from the same lawyers (five weeks after the collapse) to make an independent investigation in view of a suggestion, to them only, of possible sabotage.

“The tribunal was of the opinion that pursuing such a course was equal to mocking all of those who lost their lives in the collapsed building, and for which there had been no closure yet. The lawyers were advised to seek permission from the state authorities.

“We are, therefore, pleased to present to Mr Governor the report of the inquiry carried out, containing the various findings, and the recommendations, which we hope the government would be able to implement in order to bring a lasting solution to building collapse, not only in Lagos State but nationally.

“We, therefore, seek protection as members of this tribunal to be seen as having discharged this assignment to the best of our ability, without sentiments, and that we have acted based on the documents that were made available to us, as well as the information gathered from all the witnesses who appeared before the tribunal.”

The 21-storey building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, collapsed on November 4, killing at least 44 people, including the developer, Mr Olufemi Osibona.


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