Seven yet-to-be-identified persons lost their lives on Sunday when a three-storey building under construction collapsed in the Obalende area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that 10 other victims were rescued by emergency responders, who raced to the scene of the incident.
As of the time of filing this report, the cause of the collapse, which happened around 5.40pm, had yet to be ascertained.
Confirming the incident, the Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the rescued victims were taken to hospital for treatment, adding that the corpses had been evacuated from the scene of the incident.
Oke-Osanyintolu said, “Upon arrival at the incident scene, a three-storey building under construction was discovered to have collapsed. The cause of the collapse has yet to be ascertained, but efforts are presently ongoing by the LASEMA Response Team and other responders to salvage the situation.
“As of 5.40pm, a total of eight men have been extricated alive by the LASEMA Response Team and other stakeholders, and have been attended to and quickly transferred to the Lagos Island General Hospital by LASEMA paramedics for further medical attention.
“Four people, made up of three males and one female, have so far been recovered dead and handed over to the SEHMU at the incident scene. A recovery operation is still ongoing.”
However, the acting Zonal Coordinator, South-West Zonal Office, National Emergency Management Agency, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, in an update on the incident around 7.42pm, said the corpses of six persons were removed from the rubble, while 10 other injured persons were rescued.
PUNCH Metro gathered that labourers were working on the third floor of the building, which had earlier been sealed off by the Lagos State Building Control Agency, when it caved in, trapped and killed some of them.
A caution tape used in sealing off the building was sighted by our correspondent.
However, based on the account of some rescued victims, it was gathered that some of the labourers, said to be Muslims, were observing prayers when the tragedy struck.
A source, who spoke with PUNCH Metro, said despite the sealing off of the building by LASBCA, the workers used a roofing sheet to shield the site to continue the work.
The source stated, “The work at the site is illegal because LASBCA had sealed off the place so those working there operated against the law. To achieve their purpose, they used a roofing sheet to cover the whole structure, and by so doing, nobody knew that they were working on the site.
“What some of those, who survived, said was that some people are still trapped in the rubble as they were praying when the building collapsed. We don’t know if they are alive or dead, but that is what some of the survivors said.”
The Head, Public Affairs, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Nosa Okunbor, added in an update, “Following the collapsed building at No. 60 Odo Street, Obalende, in the Eti-Osa LCDA, LASEMA activated the state’s emergency response plan with the latest update being that 10 persons were treated with minor injuries; and 10 severely injured persons were removed from the debris, tended and transferred to hospital for further treatment.
“Records indicate that the seven fatalities, made up of six men and one woman, have also been recovered and promptly handed over to SEHMU.
“Further on-site investigation revealed that a portion of the collapsed building said to be occupied by some of the workers had been sealed off by the Lagos State Building Control Agency for obvious reasons of contravention.
“It was also revealed that the owner of the said structure had commenced clandestine operations in the wee hours of Sunday, an illegal action that directly resulted in this unfortunate incident.
“According to eyewitnesses, the casting of the third floor was in progress when the building suddenly collapsed at the illegal construction site.”
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Idris Salako, later visited the scene of the collapse and inspected other adjoining buildings in the area for an on-the-spot assessment, and promised to get to the root of the incident.
Police Station Burnt as Warders, Okada Riders Clash in Ibadan
There was pandemonium at the Agodi Gate area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Tuesday, following a clash between some motorcyclists and warders at the Agodi Correctional Centre.
The clash led to the burning of the Idi Ogungun Police Outstation by some angry youths, while another police station opposite the centre was reportedly damaged.
Our correspondent gathered that a motorcyclist was shot by one of the warders, but some eyewitnesses claimed that the teargas canister, which the warder held, exploded and injured the motorcyclist in the face.
Some of the traders, who have shops in the area, told our correspondent that the victim was shot by the prison officials following his refusal to pay a bribe of N50.
One of the traders, Dauda Abegunrin, told our correspondent that prison warders always extort okada riders, who usually park close to the facility to pick passengers.
The alleged shooting of the motorcyclist was said to have angered his colleagues and youths in the area, who made bonfires on the road, which made motorists to avoid the area.
This reportedly caused pandemonium as commuters, motorists and passers-by ran helter-skelter.
Abegunrin said, “One of the warders demanded N50 from an okada rider, but that one said he could not give a bribe because he was a Muslim. The warder later dragged him inside and shot him. This led to a crisis in the area.”
Another trader in the area claimed that the refusal of the okada rider to give the warder the N50 bribe caused the clash.
It was not clear if the motorcyclist died or he was just injured, but some people said he had been taken to hospital.
Policemen and operatives of the Operation Burst, comprising soldiers and other security agents, were deployed in the area to restore normalcy following the violence.
Efforts to speak to the Public Relations Officer of the correctional centre, Lanre Anjonrin, were unsuccessful as he did not answer calls placed to his telephone and had yet to reply messages sent to him on the issue.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, said policemen and other security agents were deployed in the area to prevent hoodlums from seizing the opportunity of the clash to attack the prison.
He confirmed that one police station in the area was burnt, while another was damaged.
The PPRO stated, “Contrary to the currently trending news online that policemen fired shots, leading to injury at the Agodi Gate area this morning, the truth is that there was a clash between officers of the correctional service and okada riders stationed at Agodi Gate.
“Upon the receipt of this information, policemen as well as other security agents moved to the scene to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order that could lead to coordinated attacks on the prison facility.
“The Idi Ogungun Police Outstation was burnt, while the Agodi 2 Station opposite the correctional centre was damaged.”
Police Nab 55-Year-Old with Four Human Skulls, Three Hands in Ogun
Men of the Ogun State Police Command have arrested a 55-year-old man, Yesiru Salisu, for being in possession of human parts, including four skulls, two hands and three jaws, in Ijebu-Igbo.
The suspect allegedly severed the human parts from a Christian cemetery in Oke-Eri, Ijebu-Ode, on Monday alongside his accomplice, Lekan Bakare, who is on the run.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this on Tuesday.
Oyeyemi said the suspect, who is a resident of No. 7 Odenusi Street, Ijebu-Igbo, was arrested on Monday.
The PPRO added that the suspect was arrested following a report lodged at the Ago-Iwoye Division in the Ijebu-North Local Government Area of the state.
He added that the complainant reported that a man was seen with a bag suspected to contain stolen property and when he was challenged, he dropped the bag and ran into the bush.
The statement said, “Upon the report, the DPO Ago-Iwoye, CSP Paul Omiwole, led detectives to the scene, where they opened the bag and discovered that it contained dry human parts.
“Consequently, the bush that the suspect ran into was properly combed and he was subsequently apprehended.
“On interrogation, the suspect confessed to harvesting the human parts from a Christian cemetery in Oke-Eri, Ijebu-Ode together with one Lekan Bakare, who is now at large.”
The PPRO said the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had ordered the immediate transfer of the case to state Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for further investigation and prosecution.
Oyeyemi added that the CP also directed that the fleeing accomplice should be hunted and brought to justice.
Lady from Hell! Sets Ex-Lover’s House, Girlfriend Ablaze
Nineteen-year-old Jemila Ibrahim and her friend, Fatima Mohammed, have been arrested by the personnel of the Lagos State Police Command for setting her ex-lover’s house ablaze at the Monkey Village, FESTAC area of the state.
It was gathered that Jemila and her friend stormed the residence of her ex-lover, Mohammed Yusuf, around 5.30pm on November 18 and set it ablaze, while his girlfriend, Rabi was inside.
Yusuf, who got to know about the incident, rushed home to rescue Rabi and took her to hospital, where she died on Saturday around noon.
Mohammed reportedly left Jemila over alleged infidelity on her part.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement on Monday, said policemen from the Satellite Division arrested the suspects, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had ordered the transfer of the case to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Panti, for further investigation.
The statement read in part, “The duo of Jemila Ibrahim and her friend, Fatima Mohammed, of Monkey Village, who accompanied Jemila to commit the heinous crime, have been arrested by the police operatives attached to the Satellite Division of the command.
“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, who condemned the crime, has ordered that the matter be transferred to the SCIID, Panti, for discreet investigation. The CP also vowed to go after those, who engage in crimes and social vices, and to rid the state of criminals and criminality.”
The CP, however, urged the residents of the state to avoid taking the law into their own hands.