Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Dawaki building collapse: developer to face manslaughter charges

FCT Administration said it will be charging the developer of the structure that recently collapsed in Dawaki, with manslaughter charges, following the death of a middle aged man in the building that was under construction.

Acting Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, AMMC, Abdulhamid Sulaiman, said the decision became necessary following the negligence and outright disregard for the ‘stop work order’ issued on the structure.

Sulaiman, who disclosed the position of the administration during a visit to the scene of the incident, vowed to prosecute the developer and revoke title for the property.

Describing the incidence as "Very painful and unfortunate", Sulaiman insisted that "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 coordinator regretted that that even though necessary preventive measures, including service of stop work notice by the department of Development Control at commencement of construction, 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 "Serve as warning to other developers in the city, adding that "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 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.”

Director General, FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, Abbas Idriss while commenting on rescue efforts revealed that there were 10 persons in the building when the collapse occurred but while nine were safely recovered and rescued, unfortunately, one fatality was recorded.

Speaking on steps taken to prevent the collapse, 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.”

Corroborating Sulaiman, 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 occurred yesterday.

“It is really unfortunate 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.”

 

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