The Tribunal of Inquiry inaugurated by Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to look into the collapse of the 21-Storey Building at 44 BCD, Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, has appealed to members of the public, professional bodies and construction industry stakeholders, as well as individuals who have useful information to submit memoranda, which have direct bearing on the particular issue being investigated, as well as their recommendations to prevent future occurrence.
The six-man tribunal, chaired by Toyin Ayinde, made the appeal at the first press conference held on Monday at the Secretariat of the Tribunal, LASWA Terminal Building, Five Cowrie Creek, Ikoyi.
The panel urged members of the public to send all memoranda, recommendations and submissions to [email protected] on or before Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
Recall that a 21-floor structure at 44 B,C,D Gerrard Road in Ikoyi area of Lagos State, on Monday, November 1, collapsed, resulting in the loss of lives .
Ayinde said the purpose of the “press conference is to apprise the media, and the general public, of what the Tribunal has done so far, and what its activities are likely to be in the remaining days ahead.”
The tribunal, which comprises six professionals in the private sector, and who are certified members of their professions, began sitting immediately after its inauguration on Thursday, November 4, 2021.
Saying that there may have been concerns or agitations about why the tribunal has not spoken to the media, Ayinde noted: “We will like to state that members of the tribunal are professionals, and our calling demands that we make statements from informed and verified positions.
“We are compelled to speak only when investigations have been made, reports and documents submitted, queried, analysed and discussions held with relevant stakeholders.”
The tribunal’s mode of communication, the chairman said, “would be to brief the media through press releases as and when required, so that the public may be aware of the conduct of the proceedings.
“As we proceed, we expect your cooperation and we hope that we will, together with all stakeholders, be able to solve this problem on a permanent basis.”
He listed activities of the tribunal to include: “Setting up the Secretariat and arranging logistics for the successful conduct of activities;
A visit to the site of the building collapse on Friday, November 5, for a general assessment of the rescue operations, and to determine areas where expert consultants’ services would be required;
A visit to the General Hospital, Broad Street, to interview some of the survivors who could offer some eyewitness accounts;
Engaging the services of consultant building materials testing laboratory for the purpose of addressing item (e) of the TOR;
Engaging the services of a consultant land surveyor to conduct verticality tests on the remaining structures within the premises of the collapsed building.
Others are: Writing the relevant government MDA’s to request for all files and documentation relating to the collapsed building;
Writing to all consultants and developer/contractors associated with the project on 44 B,C,D Gerrard Road, Ikoyi; and listing more than 30 stakeholders relevant to the construction industry and the collapsed building, whose views, position papers and recommendations would be received and considered.
“Those that the tribunal consider necessary to chat with would be invited,”
He said the tribunal began formal interviews with witnesses from Tuesday, November 16, 2021, to identify the roles played in the activities that led to the collapse of the building, and received the report from the consultants who conducted verticality tests on the remaining structures standing in the premises of the collapsed building.
The results of the tests on the construction materials are still being awaited, he added.
Ayinde stated that “Interviews conducted have been recorded for the purpose of record-keeping, and the tribunal would meet as many as are willing to present credible and factual statements, with evidence(s), relating to the collapse.
“Some documents have been received from some government MDAs and members have started studying them. “We have also interviewed some of the LASG staff in the relevant MDAs.”