Last Friday, court ordered the remand of the Managing Director of Lekki Gardens, Richard Nyong and one of the contractors handling the project, Odofin Taiwo Henry for 30 days, as police investigate the deadly collapse of a five-storey structure handled by the firm.
The building crumbled around 3am on the 8th of March killing about 35 people.
In a country with standing housing deficit of 17million, it will be expected that the houses being built should at least maintain quality standards, so we do not have a case of double trouble added to the issue of housing deficit in the country.
It was gathered that the uncompleted building was occupied by people who were not supposed to be there, thereby tagging them – illegal occupants.
Notable people have raised their voices to make a case for the estranged MD of Lekki Gardens, some have even asked why he is remanded in the police custody while Prophet T.B Joshua whose building collapse case killed over 100 people works freely and has never attended a court session.
While some have applauded the government for acting fast, others say there is more to be told as the said building has been linked to Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio whom has however said it is unfair to link him to a property he does not own.
The case was however adjourned till April 12.
As we wait to see the direction the case takes, NREH correspondent spoke to members of the public to get their opinion on the Lekki Garden’s unfortunate incident and proceedings.
Following the previous cases of collapsed building in the country and the circumstances surrounding the Lekki Gardens building collapse, do you think the detention of Lekki Gardens MD is Rash or justifiable?
See some of the response we got below:
Idowu – It’s right. They were following due process. If he has to spend a day in jail for everyone who lost their lives then it should have been 35days
Solomon – The way the government reacted on the matter wasn’t palatable. And I have heard the spokesman for Lekki Gardens. He said they have built over 6000 houses and no one collapsed, that it’s just that particular one that collapsed. The way they arrested the MD wasn’t justifiable. At least they should have given the company an opportunity to defend themselves. I think the government probably has some other things they want to achieve by this; the political terrain in Nigeria is very hot. I also heard that its someone from Cross River state that owns Lekki Gardens and it’s been linked to Godswill Akpabio from the other political party – PDP and Lagos state is owned by APC, this could be to frustrate PDP members out of business. So I would say there is a political motive on it and there is a business angle of it too. And I also heard the government has asked the occupant of Lekki gardens to vacate the properties so test can be conducted but we don’t know if houses have been provided for them to temporarily live in while the test goes on. I think the government is over acting. They probably need to investigate properly. The building collapsed in the middle of the night and the people in the building at that time were not supposed to be there. They were illegal occupants. But the truth is people have died and people are sentimental about it.
Dapo – I believe that we have been having a lot of building collapse in the country. I felt, being a service provider, knowing that it is the integrity of the building that will speak for you positively or negatively, he should know better. He being detained because of this will serve as a deterrent to other people coming into the industry so they will know they cannot compromise with people’s property and people’s lives. He knows that building should not take more than a required amount of floor and only God know the number of buildings that they have built falsely in that matter and what will happen to them in the nearest future even if they don’t fall down today. So if you are in a house, and you are not sure of the integrity of the building then it is more like an accident waiting to happen. So I feel the government is justified to keep him in detention probably just to caution other developers that are coming up like him so that they will know they cannot cut corners.
What do you think? Justifiable or Rash?