Building collapse : Court remands Lekki Gardens MD, contractor in prison
TVC E, NEWS – A Magistrate’s court in Lagos has ordered that the Managing Director of Lekki Garden Homes, Richard Nyong and the contractor Taiwo Odofin involved in the construction of a building which collapsed earlier this week, be held in police custody until investigation into the building collapse is completed.
The first defendant Odofin alongside 2nd defendant Nyong, arrived the courthouse in handcuffs escorted by men of the State Criminal Investigation Department Panti.
The matter was heard in Court 6 of the Ebute Metta Magistrate court by Magistrate Afolade Botoku.
Both defendants were in a somber mood all through the hearing .
In his submission, lead counsel Godwin Osuyi from the legal department of the state CID moved a motion exparte application for an order to remand the two defendants in custody pending the conclusion of police investigations, he cited Section 35 sub section 5 of the Nigerian constitution 1999 and section 4 and 10 of the Risk Act 19 laws of the federal republic of Nigeria 2004.
On his part counsel to the 2nd defendant Olabode Olanipekun while making his 2 part submission asked that the defendants be granted bail or in the alternative be allowed to make themselves available to the prosecution no matter how stringent the terms may be.
Counsel to the first defendant Femi Uwangboje aligned with the counsel to the 2nd defendant.
In a counter argument Barrister Osuyi from the State CID argued that before an application for bail can be considered there must be a charge, an arraignment and pleas would have been taken subsequently it would have been determined that the court is competent enough to hear the case he asked that counsels be directed to the Lagos High Court filing necessary documents and serving the Lagos state Commissioner of Police.
In her ruling the Magistrate ordered that the defendants be remanded at the State CID Yaba for 30 days pending full investigation and arraignment at an appropriate court.
All efforts to speak with defendants proved abortive as they remained mum.
Both defendants are been investigated for their roles in Tuesday’s building collapse where more than thirty people lost their lives.
Meanwhile, the management of Lekki Gardens Estate has commiserated with families of those who lost their lives in Tuesday’s building collapse.
The Spokesman for Lekki Gardens, Steve Agbiboa said in a statement that they are making every efforts to provide adequate medical care and attention to the survivors.
He said plans are being made to contact the next of kin of the bereaved as well as collaborate with all the appropriate authorities to find out the exact cause of the incident.
Agbiboa commended the timely intervention of all the Lagos State Emergency response team.
He said necessary measures and procedures are put in place to forestall a repeat of the unfortunate incident.