Sunday, November 25, 2018 7:21 pm
…Commission of Inquiry to probe cause of collapse
…Property to be acquired by State government
…38 persons rescued, six dead
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has directed arrest of the owner of the collapsed Seven-storey building, the Contractor and state government officials who gave approval for the building to be constructed.
Governor Wike who was out of the country when the incident happened on Friday evening, also directed the State Attorney-General to set up a Commission of Inquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the collapse of the Private 7-storey building located at Woji road, New GRA in Port Harcourt.
Governor Wike described the building collapse as a sad development, which has led to the painful loss of lives.
Our Correspondent investigation showed that the owner is one Joseph Allagoa, a Port Harcourt ‘boy’, a big player in oil and gas business but from the big Allagoa family from Nembe, Ijaw in Bayelsa state.
He said: “I feel so pained that we have to face this kind of calamity at this time. I commiserate with the families that have lost their loved ones who came to seek their daily bread.
“Government will do all it can to give them the necessary support.
“I have directed the Attorney-General of Rivers State to ensure that all legal steps are taken to do what is right within the ambit of the law “.
The governor ordered the immediate arrest of the owner of the collapsed building, saying that the State Government will bring all culprits to book.
“Whoever that approved this structure and those involved in the construction will face the law. Government will take every necessary step to ensure that culprits are brought to justice .
“Whoever is involved, from the owner or the contractor or the officials of the state, they will face the full weight of the law “, he said.
Speaking when he led top government officials to visit the site of the collapsed 7-storey building on Sunday, Governor Wike noted that all officials of the Rivers State Government who defaulted in their duties will be sanctioned.
The governor was accompanied by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike and top government officials.
He said: “Government will take steps to acquire this property. We cannot allow this illegality. If you look at masterplan of this area, a 7-storey building is not allowed here”.
Governor Wike commended the construction giants, security agencies and non-governmental organisations for working with the Rivers State Government to carry out rescue operations at the site of the building collapse.
It will be recalled that the 7-storey building at Woji road collapsed on Friday, with the Rivers State Government mobilising emergency services to rescue trapped persons.
As at Sunday, 38 persons have been rescued, while six persons have been confirmed dead.
The governor directed that rescue operations should continue.
As rescue operations enters it is third Sunday November 25, 30 persons have so far been rescued alive and have been admitted in hospital while six corpses have been pulled from the rubble this morning at 4 20am.
Emma Okah,the Commissioner for Information and communications confirmed to our Correspondent that the search has been intensive.
He equally confirmed that the state government has finally identified the alleged owner of the collapsed property as one Joseph Allagoa,into oil and gas business but from Nembe, Bayelsa state.