The Lagos State Building Control Authority (LASBCA) has revealed that the late Femi Osibona, Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Ltd., prevented its officers from gaining access to his Ikoyi site.
The 21-storey building under construction caved in on Gerrard Road last November. More than 40 people lost their lives.
Oluseun Randle, Assistant Director, Inspectorate of Quality Control of LASBCA, testified on Friday, NAN reports.
The official told an Ikeja Coroner’s Court she supervised Eti-Osa, Victoria, Island, Surulere, Yaba, Lagos Mainland and Ikoyi.
Randle was cross-examined by Ola Adeosun, counsel to Prowess Engineering Nigeria Ltd., the structural engineering consultant to Osibona.
Prowess withdrew its services over a dispute on how the project was structurally executed. A video of the tragedy showed the contractor’s name.
Randle said LASBCA visited the site of the building collapse to check the level of compliance on three occasions.
An officer first went there on February 13, 2019, peeped through a small opening in the gate and observed piling equipment.
“The security operatives manning the premises did not allow him entry. He was asked to wait outside of the gate for the developer (Osibona).
“After some minutes, the developer came and the officer told him he wanted to serve a notice.
“He (Osibona) told him that he could not go in and if tried to forcefully gain entry he would tell the security to release dogs.”
Randle disclosed that the officer served a Contravention Notice and Stop Work Order dated February 13, 2019.
The order was to be complied with within 48-hours. The staff returned to the site on February 21, 2019.
The witness recalled that in June 2019, LASBCA received a notification from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA), over a permit given to Fourscore Heights.
“The approval drawing was for three blocks of 15-floors. With that (the permit) LASBCA had a reprieve over the matter,” she said.
Responding to Yusuf Lawan, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) counsel, Randle said LABSCA was unaware that Osibona returned to the construction site after his arrest.
“The monitoring officers were not going to the site because of the COVID-19 lockdown, then #EndSARS occurred,” she told the lawyer.