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Published On: Mon, Jul 27th, 2020

Building collapse: FCTA vows to prosecute developer for manslaughter

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By Stanley Onyekwere

Following the collapse of a building under construction, resulting in the death of a middle aged-man, in Dakwa, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has vowed to prosecute the developer and revoke title for the property.
The incident, which took place Friday morning, after a heavy downpour, also injured nine persons, who were in the building when it collapsed.
Acting Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Abdulhamid Sulaiman disclosed the position of the Administration, while speaking to journalists during a visit to the scene of the mishap.
He lamented that even though necessary preventive measures, including service of stop work notice by the department of Development Control at commencement of construction.
He adds: “The developer and his co-conspirators will be punished. I assure you, the FCTA is not going to tolerate it. They will be brought to book and we will recommend for possible revocation of this plot.
“The developer Ignored it and continued to do this type of construction under lawlessness and impunity, and the result is this disaster.”
According to him, prosecution of the developer and revocation of the plot would also “Serve as a warning to other developers in the city.
“We have directed Development Control to institute, strictly, their procedure: any developer issued stop work order that refuses to abide by it, we will withdraw his building plan and approval, and possibly recommend, also, for the withdrawal of the title of the land.
“We have also directed the Legal Department to commence the process of prosecuting those who are responsible for this terrible offence,” he stressed.
Commenting on rescue efforts, Director General, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Abbas Idriss revealed that while nine trapped persons were safely recovered and rescued from the site, “unfortunately, we recovered one fatality and he was taken by the family after taken to the hospital.”
Also speaking, Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima dismissed allegations of being reactive instead of proactive, revealing that prior to the incidence, his department organized a stakeholders’ meeting to “strategise ways and means of averting incidences of structural failure.”
Galadima further disclosed that a “stop work” notice was served on the collapsed structure on 17th of July, 2020 when the developer embarked on modification of the bungalow without securing appropriate approval, but he did not heed the orders.
According to Galadima, the developer “took advantage of the break period during the weekend, commenced work and the result of noncompliance with notice is this unfortunate incidence that occured yesterday.
“It is really in fortunate that we are recording building collapse during this critical period in our nation’s history. That’s why we try as much as possible to see what we can do, in collaboration with other stakeholders to avert building collapse.”
Meanwhile, on the Gwagwalada flood, Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Baba Shehu Lawan, urged residents to stop dumping refuse into drainages as it was such practice that blocked the drainages and result into flooding that are rampant in the FCT.
Lawan also warned against indiscriminate felling of trees by residents and developers for development purposes, explaining that the trees served as vegetation cover, protects the soil and control.

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