By Olasunkanmi Akoni
As part of the on-going exercise to curb the spate of building collapse, Lagos State Government, yesterday, demolished a four storey-building owned by the founder of the popular Premier Lotto, popularly known as “Baba Ijebu,” Sir Kensington Adebutu, in order to avert possible loss of lives and property in the area.
The building located at No 6, Campbell Street, Lagos Island was formerly used as party secretariat by the Action Congress, (now All progressives Congress) and law firms. But the building was vacated 10 years ago when the residents discovered crack wall on the building.
It was learned that Adebutu bought the building few years ago but was still deliberating with his staff on how to judiciously use the building.
Vanguard gathered that the building was sealed by the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, twice to allow the owner embark on Structural Stability Test, SST, before embarking on manual demolition exercise which commenced on October 16th, 2015 and December 22, 2015.
Mr. Sheye Olofin, Manager Omega Homes, the building adjacent to Adebutu’s building, lamented that they work with fear daily because “the slabs from the building often drop on one’s head. Infact, our cleaner was injured by one of the slab from the building.”
Narrating their ordeal since the building became defective, Olofin said, “When we noticed that parts of the building had started falling down, we called the owner of the building but nothing was done.
“It kept destroying our property often but that wasn’t our major concern. Our concern was the life that could be lost if it was allowed to collapse. And that was why we decided to write to the owner of the building.
“Few months after, he sent a team to investigate our claims last year. When they came, they discovered that the alarm raised was true. We had been complaining over the state of the building over four years to the owner. We are happy that the government has finally come to demolish it,” he added.
The LASBCA General Manager, Olusola Adeigbe said that the responsibility of the agency was to monitor building in the state and identify distressed building, saying “We demolish buildings that have over 90 percent of likelihood of collapsing.”
Adeigbe who was represented at the scene by Mr. Felix Olowojoba, Director of Enforcement, said, “When we detect building that are defective and could collapse any moment, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that such building does not cave in to avoid loss of life.
“Over the years, we have had the report of falling of its concrete. We recommended that the building should undergo SST to assist LASBCA to ascertain its structural integrity. The report that came out was not favorable. The report showed that the building is over burdened and distressed.