*Police arrest building contractor
By Adeola Ogunrinde
As rescue operations in respect of the collapsed building in Lekki, Lagos came to an end at 7.20 pm on Wednesday night, the death toll in the collapsed building rose to 34.
13 persons were rescued alive. The operations reached ground zero where it appeared no more dead body was in sigh.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has sealed Lekki Gardens over the collapse of a five-storey building under construction.
The building is located at Kushenla Road, Ikate Elegushi in the Lekki area of the state.
Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, in a statement released on Wednesday, indicted the contractor of the project.
Ayorinde said: “The Lagos state government announced that based on preliminary reports and investigation, it was discovered that the collapsed building was served contravention notice for exceeding the approved floors and thereafter sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency.
“It has also been discovered that in a brazen act of defiance and impunity, the owners of the building, Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited, the promoters of Lekki Gardens, criminally unsealed the property and continued building beyond the approved floors until the unfortunate incident of Tuesday, which has led to loss of lives.
“The government will no longer tolerate the action of unscrupulous owners and builders who challenge its supervisory control thereby endangering the lives of Lagosians.
“The state government has consequently directed the suspension of work at the site and ordered the Lagos state police command to cordon it off as it is now a crime scene.
“The government also directed further integrity tests be carried out on every other construction project which has or is currently being handled by Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited in the interest of public safety.
“Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has advised all directors of Lekki Worldwide Estate Limited to submit themselves to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police within the next twenty four hours in their own interest or face immediate arrest.”
In the meantime, the Lagos State police command has arrested the contractor handling the failed building project.
According to Oladapo Badmus, Police Spokesperson, Lagos, the contractor, Odofin Taiwo, is currently under investigation.