The General Manager of the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA), Innocent Ikpamezie, has said the developers of the collapsed eight storey building in Owerri failed to supply them with details of the construction papers and approvals.
Mr Ikpamezie said the agency requested for the papers from the developers weeks before the building collapsed, according to a statement issued on Saturday by Oguwike Nwachuku, Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodinma.
The OCDA boss said the inability to obtain the papers led to the shifting of the date of inspection to Tuesday, May 5, before the building collapsed.
At least 15 people died after the eight storey building collapsed on Thursday along Yar’Adua Drive in Owerri.
Mr Uzodimma, according to the statement, commiserated with families and victims of the incident and promised a full investigation.
The governor also expressed his displeasure at the avoidable incident that resulted in the loss of lives and property, when he visited the scene on Friday.
He warned that under no circumstance should such structure be erected without appropriate approval, monitoring and supervision by the Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) and all other agencies charged with such responsibility.
The governor noted that the building suffered avoidable structural defects coupled with sub-standard building materials used in the construction by the engineers.
Mr Uzodimma assured that the contractor and construction firm would be brought to book after proper investigation was conducted.
“This is a very sad event. Observed that construction work was going on against the directive for total lockdown.
“It is a very serious violation and also to hear that the requisite approvals were not adhered to, is yet another carelessness,” he said.
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Mr Uzodinma prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives and assured that government would do everything possible to ensure that such level of carelessness did not repeat itself in the future.
He promised to ensure that those behind the ugly incident were made to face the full wrath of the law when investigations were concluded.
He directed that all efforts should be geared toward rescuing every life trapped in the ruins to help reduce the number of deaths.
He reassured that government could not afford to close its eyes to “this level of negligence in the state.”