Lekki Gardens Collapse: Three Floors Approved For Building Structure, Not Five – Witness Tells Court

Lekki Gardens

Lagos – A prosecution witness in the ongoing trials of the Managing Director of Lekki Gardens Estate Ltd, Richard Nyong, who is standing trial alongside Lekki Gardens Estate, Maruis Agwu, on Wednesday, revealed that the five-storey Lekki Gardens structure, which collapsed on March 8 2016, killing over 35 people, was originally approved to be a three-storey building.

Agwu stated this while being cross-examined before Justice Sybil Nwaka. He said that as an architect, he designed the building but had nothing to do with the construction of the structure.

Other defendants in the suit are: Get Rich Investment Limited known as Horizon 1 Extension, House H15, Mr Sola Olumofe; the Firm’s Contractor, Odofin Henry Taiwo; Omolabake Motunde, Omotilewa Oluwatosin Joseph, Lekki Gardens, and HC Insight Solution Limited.

They were arraigned on a six-count charge bordering on failure to obtain building approval for the collapsed building and involuntary manslaughter, where they pleaded not guilty.

While testifying, Agwu denied giving out the construction work to one Lanre Kuyebi knowing that he is not an engineer.

“I don’t handle structures but only designs. I only handled activities, which was limited to the design of the structure,” Agwu maintained.

The Witness, during cross-examination by the 1st, 6th and 7th Defendant’s Counsel, Wole Olanipekun SAN, however told the Court that he signed a letter for the award for the contract on the 1st of April 2015.

Recall that at the last adjourned date, Agwu, while giving evidence told the Court that when he discovered the defect on the collapsed building, which was brought to their notice by one Madam Omolabake Motunde, he drew the attention Lekki Gardens Managing Director to it and he said he was going to do something about it but he never did.

However, while the Witness admitted that he was not a registered architect, he also said that he did not sign nor seal the design of the collapsed building, but that the company did not direct him to sign nor seal the design.

While being cross-examined he admitted to have been a sixth defendant between May 24 and June 14, 2017, when they were first brought to Court.

Earlier during proceedings, the Judge had threatened to issue bench warrants against one of the defendants, Odofin Henry Taiwo, who was not present in court.

His Counsel, however, explained that his client thought the court would sit by twelve, hence his absence.

The Judge thereafter adjourned the matter till March 19 for continuation of cross-examination.

The post Lekki Gardens Collapse: Three Floors Approved For Building Structure, Not Five – Witness Tells Court appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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Author: Titilope Joseph