HEDA Raises Alarm Over Reinstatement of LASBCA Staff - The Top Society

HEDA Raises Alarm Over Reinstatement of LASBCA Staff

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The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has voiced its apprehension concerning the recent reinstatement of personnel from the Lagos State Building Control Agency.

These individuals had previously been terminated in connection with the tragic collapse of a six-story building within Lekki Gardens Estate at Ikate Elegushi, Lekki, back in March 2016.

HEDA, an accountability group, has called on Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to swiftly initiate an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this reinstatement and to take appropriate action as necessary.

In a strongly-worded letter penned by HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, and addressed to Governor Sanwo-Olu, titled “Unjustified Reinstatement of Dismissed LASBCA Staff Over Building Collapse: Immediate Reevaluation Required,” the group emphasized that the reinstatement occurred through a judicial process that they consider to be inconclusive.

This development has raised concerns among advocates for accountability and transparency within the state.

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The collapse of the six-story building in 2016 had led to tragic consequences, raising questions about the oversight and regulation of construction and building safety in Lagos.

It partly read,

“The collapse of a 6-story building within Lekki Gardens Estate at Ikate Elegushi, Lekki, Lagos on March 8, 2016, causing the death of 35 persons and injury to 16 persons earned the concerned government officials severe punishment. In this case, the Lagos State Government rightly sacked the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Collapse Agency, Adeigbe Olushola, the Head of Inspection and Quality Control in the agency, Adeoye Thomas Adeyemi, the Zonal District Officer in the agency, Dosunmu Gbadebo, while the Zonal Head of Eti-Osa West of the agency, Akinde Adenike Sherifat, was retired mandatorily from the Civil Service.

“Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in a statement signed by the State Head of Service, Olabowale Ademola, pointed out that the affected officials were dismissed, having been indicted of negligence, which according to Ambode, was an act of misconduct under the Public Service Rule 040401.

“The disciplinary action of the Lagos State Government was hailed by the public. Lives of innocent building occupants could not be terminated prematurely without repercussions, as the action taken by the Lagos State Government would serve as a deterrent to corrupt, negligent LASBCA officials.”

HEDA expressed astonishment at the reinstatement of previously dismissed officials from the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA), who had returned to their roles despite being implicated in the Lekki Gardens incident. This return occurred in the midst of an ongoing judicial process without resolution.

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While acknowledging the judiciary as an independent branch of government with decisions that cannot be overridden by the executive, HEDA firmly asserted that the government has a responsibility to maintain public trust. This includes ensuring that those found guilty of wrongdoing are held accountable for their actions, rather than being allowed to perpetuate negligence and compromise the public interest.

With a disturbing record of over 111 building collapses in Lagos State since the Lekki Gardens tragedy, resulting in 193 fatalities and 250 injuries, including children, HEDA underscored the severity of the situation. The organization called upon the Lagos State Government to act objectively and uphold the rule of law while simultaneously purifying the system.

It added,

“In the alternative, and assuming their reinstatement was by an order of the court, the Lagos State Government, in the interest of equity and justice, redeploy these officials to other Ministries, Departments, or Agencies unrelated to building control in the state.”

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