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Lagos Building Collapse: 10 Bodies Recovered, 24 Rescued Alive

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A distressed three-storey building, which collapsed in the Ebute Metta area of Lagos State, has claimed the lives of 10 tenants, including a member of the National Youth Service Corps, identified only as Oluwakemi.

No fewer than 24 occupants were also injured in the tragic incident, which happened on Sunday.

While some of the injured victims were treated on the spot and discharged, others who sustained severe injuries, after being stabilised by emergency responders at the incident scene, were rushed to a general hospital for further treatment.
PUNCH Metro gathered that occupants of the three-storey building were in their various apartments when it caved in around 9.30pm.

While some occupants were lucky enough to navigate their way out of the collapsed structure, others were trapped beneath the rubble.

Before the arrival of emergency responders, some members of the community searched the rubble and rescued the trapped victims.

One of the survivors, Isaac Irhrhi, who escaped death by a whisker, said he came out with members of his family.

He said, “I am speechless; I give glory to God for being alive. Friends, children, mothers have died, but my family and I came out alive. When the building collapsed, it sounded like thunder as everything went down.

“My flat is on the last floor, so I was able to break the ceiling to create a way to see outside. My wife, child and neighbours were calling me, so I directed them to where I was and started pulling them out. Aside from my wife and child, I was able to pull two neighbours out of the rubble.”

A mother of two, Kehinde Enifeni, a tenant in a house beside the collapsed building, said the structure fell and blocked the entrance to her flat, adding that she and her children escaped by breaking the window.

She said, “I was shocked when I heard the noise, but as I attempted opening the door, I couldn’t. I broke our fence and the structure fell on our compound and blocked our entrance, including the window of my parlour.

“I began crying; my husband started shouting my name and saying I should rush into the room. I quickly rushed there, got a knife, cut the net of the window in the room, but the window had burglary-proof bars.

“Suddenly, some guys came from nowhere and started breaking the burglary-proof bars and we all came out through the window. My neighbour, Alfa, and his family used a ladder to climb down into the compound because the rubble also blocked the entrance to his flat.”

Another resident, Lanre Shobaloju, said the tragedy occurred due to government negligence, lamenting that the building had been in a bad condition for years.

He said, “The government has been sealing and unsealing the place for more than four times. The last result, which is the collapse, is what they wanted and the building has killed people, including youths.

“One of my agents, Toheeb, lost his life. A young boy, Chinonso, also lost his life; Khalid, who was aspiring to go to university, also lost his life. LASBCA was here to seal the place and it is surprising that the agency still allowed people to reside in the building.

“There is a chance that the agency’s officials were bribed. The tragedy should have been averted if the tenants had been evacuated as I have been complaining that all the pillars and decking of the building had become weak.

“The house was built by a developer about 22 years ago and from what we gathered, the developer would have handed over the building to its owners on May 31 until it collapsed yesterday.”

Emergency responders, including the National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services, Lagos State Building Control Agency, police, and Red Cross were sighted at the scene of the incident on Monday.

Our correspondent observed as two excavators driven by emergency officials made attempts to locate other trapped victims.

As the excavators dug deeper and pierced through concrete and iron rods, the lifeless bodies of 10 occupants, including children, were recovered and placed in body bags.

A crowd of onlookers and sympathisers were seen crying profusely as emergency officials carried the corpses in body bags into vehicles for onward transfer to a mortuary.

A trader in one of the shops in the affected building, Francis Egbuonu, while recounting his losses, said valuables amounting to N10m were lost to the incident.

He said, “I took delivery of new goods on Saturday and deposited them there to take to another location on Monday, but the building collapsed on Sunday and destroyed most of my goods valued at about N10m.”

The Punch

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

The Punch

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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