No fewer than three Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) monitoring officers were said to have been injured after they were attacked by hoodlums while carrying out enforcement operations in Alimosho Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that the hoodlums were led by the owner of building under construction at Nanka Avenue, Off Afolabi Street, Afolabi Bus-stop, Akesan in Alimosho which the officials were trying to seal for contravening Lagos State Building laws.
It was learnt that the owner of the building had previously been served a Contravention and Stop Work Notice for constructing without a Building Plan Approval and with no Letter of Authorization to commence construction from LASBCA by officials from the agency’s District Office at Ikotun/Igando in June.
The Guild gathered that the injured officials were out to serve the building a Seal-Up Notice for noncompliance when the building owner mobilized some hoodlums numbering about 20 in the area and unleashed terror on the officials.
As learnt, the hoodlums disrupted the seal-Up exercise, assaulted the officers, among which three were beaten to stupor, held for hours in inhumane condition, and were asked to repaint the building that was marked for contravening the state building laws before the intervention by LASBCA enforcement team and men of Nigeria Police who rescued the officials from the unscrupulous element.
Confirming the development, LASBCA General Manager, Arc. Gbolahan Owodunni Oki, noted that it took the intervention of the agency’s Special Operations team and men of the state Taskforce to rescue the officials, effect the arrest of the hoodlums and reseal the building to compel compliance.
Oki, while briefing journalists on the incident said that the property owner and some of the hoodlums were arrested by men of Nigeria Police attached to the State Taskforce and have been taken to court for prosecution in accordance with State Building Regulation laws and other related offences.
He decried the incessant attacks on officials of the agency by hoodlums and recalcitrant property owners, noting that it was surprising that some Lagosians, particularly property owners see the agency’s officials tasked on ccheckmating construction that was not in conformity with global best practices, National Building Codes and the State Urban and Regional planning law 2019 as ammended, as enemies.
He further clarified that the agency was saddled with the responsibilities of quality control in building construction with a view to prevent building collapse, haphazard and non –conforming building as well as monitoring of every stage of building construction, remodeling and renovation are well constructed for safety of lives and property of the citizenry.
He said “We are more concerned about the safety of the people in making sure that their abode is safe and secured”, while reaffirming government zero tolerance to building collapse in the state and the need to build right. He however warned that anybody found assaulting any of the State government officials on duty will face the full wrath of the law.
Oki, however, appealed to all building owners/developers in the state to apply and obtain their Building Plan Permit before commencement of construction of any structure, apply for Letter of Authorization to Commence Construction from LASBCA and to comply strictly with the Lagos State Government Law as regards the approval given.