21-STOREY BUILDING COLLAPSE IN IKOYI LEAVES 21 QUESTIONS TRAPPED IN THE RUBBLES OF CONFUSION

Fourscore Heights Ltd (Fourscore Homes) embarked on the construction of triplet high-rise buildings in Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos (known as 360 Degrees Towers). Two were delivered. The third – a 21-storey building – was a stillbirth. It recently collapsed, leaving scores dead.

The National Emergency Management Agency and others have been on a search for possible survivours and evacuation of the bodies of the dead.

From the reports, one of the contractors of the project (Prowess Engineering Limited) had, prior to the collapse of the 21-storey building, addressed a letter to the developer, Femi Osibona (AKA “Femi Fourscore”) , withdrawing from the project as structural consultants, stating that they cannot guarantee the integrity of the 21-storey building.

Accusing fingers are being pointed like a compass used in drawing a full circle of 360°.

The Lagos State Government has announced that full investigation will be carried out.

But too many random questions are on the lips of many. The survivours are wondering, how did it happen? The hospitalized are worried if they’ll be whole again. Who approved the construction? Was the construction according to specifications? Was the incident an act of god? What really went wrong? Why are the other two buildings standing while the third fell? What steps are being taken to confirm the integrity of the other two? Why did Prowess Engineering Ltd fall out with Fourscore Homes? How significant was their structural consultancy prowess in the scheme of things? How much do they know? How much did they disclose? How much did they withhold? Is their letter enough to exculpate them from liability? Who and who will be held liable? What is the extent of the liability of Fourscore Homes? How many people were in the building? How many have been accounted for? Were safety measures in place? What is the efficiency and efficacy of the relevant Government agency spearheading the rescue mission? What will happen to investors’ funds? What about the suppliers? What about the financiers of the project?

The mountain of rubbles leave a mountain of questions yet to be answered. 

In the midst of all these and while many hoped that Femi Osibona would be apprehended and grilled to produce answers to the many questions, he was found and confirmed dead. Apparently, he was within the building during the tragic incident. The dead stay dumb. Femi Fourscore has no scores to settle with the living. His building collapsed, and so were his dreams. 

Prior to the news of Femi’s death, one of his friends and personal assistant who were also in the building were reported dead.

The Late Femi had an amazing record and pedigree in real estate business in Nigeria. Reports have it that he was equally an internationally acclaimed developer. Where did he go wrong this time? 

It is hoped that the mysteries would be unraveled, answers to the questions found, proactive measures taken to avoid future occurrence and finally, peaceful rest to the spirit of the dead.

 

Featured image credit: BBC



Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.

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