Lekki Gardens, owners of the collapsed Lekki building which left 26 people dead, unprofessionally added the last two floors of the building, the Nigerian Institute of Building has revealed.

Speaking with TheCable, Adelaja Adekanbi, vice chairman Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), said the builders failed to put up a stable structure.

“All the work that has been done here is nothing to write home about; it’s work that was done under no supervision, under no professional engineer or builder,” he said.

“Let them bring the engineer or builder that is involved in the construction. The first two building here, I was involved in it; I taught them what to do. They wanted to raise two floors and they did a piling of six metres for this kind of structure so the structural stability is failure and where we are standing, if you don’t know, was purely water two years ago.

A crack in one of the buildings in progress

Cracks in one of the structures being built

“Imagine someone building on water and doing a piling of six metres for a seven-storeyed building. I recommend to Lagos state government that every building here painted or not, should be tested.

“This house we are looking at should also be pulled down in a week. If not, we are looking for another trouble. At this point, I recommend that every house here should be tested to ascertain the structural stability because I don’t think they are habitable.”

Kehinde Adebayo, the chief press secretary of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), told TheCable that the agency had recovered 26 bodies while another 13 people were rescued alive.

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An Iron bender working on the building, who simply identified himself as Happiness, said his brother was still trapped in the building and he would not leave until his brother had been found, dead or alive.

He said a lesser number of people would have been trapped in the building had the owners paid them in due time.

“They didn’t pay people; that’s why they didn’t go for the weekend. If they paid, people would have gone for the weekend,” he said.

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LASEMA rescuing a survivor

“I think they were about 60 to 100 in the building because people came from Badagry, Togo and Ibadan to work here. They were paid weekly originally, but they have not been paid for three weeks now.”

Complaining that the rescue operations were not fast enough, Happiness said he was around when the building came down at about 4am on Tuesday.

Them go reach 40 or 50 people wey dey inside. Them dey sleep there even if them go work another place, them go come sleep for here. That man wey get the house don owe them money, so them come collect their money,” he said.

My brother dey inside, na him I dey wait for because if I never see am and I go house, my family go say I don sell my brother. If he don die make I know, if him never die, make I know that’s why I still dey.

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