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Inside Lekki Garden 5 storey building collapse

– How poor quality materials and structural defect killed our beloved ones

– Friends and families lament

+ Blow by blow account of the tragic incident

A five storey building under construction on Kushenla Road, Ikate Elegushi, Lekki, Lagos, which was developed by Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate, the promoters of Lekki Garden, collapsed in the early hours of Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

The incident claimed about 35 souls, while 12 others were rescued alive and rushed to the Lagos Island General Hospital. The bodies were deposited at the hospital morgue.

Witnesses told ENCOMIUM Weekly that the building was occupied by artisans and construction engineers who lived far away. Some were said to be non- Nigerians who could not afford an apartment in the Lekki area of the state.

ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered that the Lagos State Building Control Agency had marked the building for demolition, because the soil could only carry a three storey building, but the promoters of Lekki Garden were said to have ignored the warning and raised the building up to a five storey level.

Also, residents made it known to us that the building was on a swampy land which was sand filled about six months ago without waiting for the appropriate time before constructing which was the main cause of the collapse.


‘Inferior materials caused the collapse’ – David Olajire

David Olajire

David Olajire

What can you say about the cause of the collapse?

Immediately I heard the news, I rushed down here to see it myself. All I know is that the house was a five storey building and collapsed at about 3am on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, due to the light shower of rain with heavy breeze.

I can recall that it was some minutes after the light shower that we heard the shocking news. I can assure you that this building collapsed due to the low quality material used in constructing the building.

Was there any rescue mission immediately?

Yes, the Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA) responded immediately and rescue operation has been very effective.

Can you give us the figures of the people that were trapped in this building?

I can’t give you an accurate figure but as at today, 19 bodies had been recovered.


‘I need to see my son alive or dead’ – Kemi Oduberu (Mother)

Kemi Oduberu

Kemi Oduberu

Can you tell us what actually happen madam?

I don’t live around here. I got the shocking news that the building where my first son works had just collapsed, I had to rush down here immediately. All efforts to identity my son among the rescued bodies proved abortive, I just need to see my son either alive or dead.

Did you confirm your son was inside the building as at the time of the incident?

I was not here with him, but most of his friends, even his brother, my second son confirmed he was there. This is where he works.

What do you want government to do?

I’m begging the government, I just need to see my son, I was not able to identify him among the rescued bodies so far.

What is the name of your said son?

He is Yinka Oyeleye.


‘The victims are our friends’ – Henry Obinna

Henry Obinna

Henry Obinna

What can you say about the cause of the collapse?

The main cause of the collapse was that the building was not strong enough. The victims who are trapped here are our brothers and we are very sad about it.

Was there any rescue mission immediately?

They have been doing their best but a lot of people have died already.

Can you give us the figures of the people that were trapped in this building?

It is not a thing of joy to count. I can’t, I’m sorry.


‘The owner is still owing us’’ – Victor Suru (an artisan who survived)

Victor Suru

Victor Suru

What can you say about the said incident?

In fact, it’s a sad situation, even my own brother was one of the victims. We came here together to work as bricklayers. Please, I urge every Nigerian to plead with the owner of this building to pay us our money.

They are owing us, we have not been paid. A lot of our brothers that died here laboured in vain. The building collapsed because of greed for money. They used inferior materials and we were forced to work without even being paid.

How much debt do they owe you?

They are owing me and my brother N450,000, they should pay us. They are owing some of my friends about N50,000.


‘The house was marked for demolition’ – Samuel Adetayo (Store Keeper)

Samuel Adetayo

Samuel Adetayo

Did you work in the collapsed building and what’s your job?

I worked here as a store keeper.

What can you say about the incident?

Though I stopped working here before the incident, all I know is that the house has been marked for demolition. I’m just surprised seeing people sleeping in the building. Though I don’t blame them, sometimes we just need to be cautious.

Sometimes we need to yield to instructions so as to save our lives. I just pray, may their souls rest in peace.


‘The contractor performed woefully’ – Ewashe Friday Agwu (witness)

What can you tell us about the collapsed building?

Ewashe Friday Agwu

Ewashe Friday Agwu

I’m aware of the collapsed building. The casting was very soft, there was nothing like strong pillar nor granite. How can a contractor build a house on a swampy area like this using sub-standard materials?

The contractor performed woefully, the building fell because of the poor materials. It was the rain around 4am on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, that affected the soft building.

Was there any rescue mission immediately?

Yes, there was immediately rescue, about eight people were rescued even before the arrival of the LASEMA rescue trucks. I’m saying it again that the contractor didn’t try at all. I plead with every Nigerian to check the pedigree of contractors before awarding contracts. And the government also has a lot to do because part of the blame also goes to the government.

Can you give us the figure of people that are trapped in this building?

I’m sure there are more than 40 souls in the building, most of them are artisans.


‘It is terrible’’ – Ifevna Nelson Omowa (witness)

What can you tell us about the collapsed building?

Ifevna Nelson Omowa

Ifevna Nelson Omowa

What I can say is that initially, the plan was supposed to be 3 storey building, I was surprised when I saw the contractor raising it to 5 storey. They didn’t take their time to study the ground, they rushed the building all because it was for sale.

That is not the legal process, I believe this people purposely endangered the lives of Nigerians. They claim that nobody was supposed to be inside the building after closing hour but a lot of people that are trapped here came from other parts of Nigeria, even some that I know are from Cotonou. They can’t afford an apartment here, they just have to sleep in the building so they can resume work early the next day.

They shouldn’t just give that as an excuse. After a swampy area is being sand-filled, they are to wait for the ground to get strong before construction.

When was the land sand filled?

It’s not even up to six months. It’s not supposed to be so. The sad news is that most of them have not been paid, I mean, the victims and other workers here. Its terrible.

Was there any rescue mission immediately?

They tried, the work is very hard, but they need to do more. I’m sure we still have bodies trapped in the building, they should do more.


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