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Gov Ikpeazu orders investigation into collapsed building, vows to prosecute violators

Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has ordered the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) and the Aba South LGA Town Planning Authority to immediately ensure full and safe demolition of the partially collapsed 3-storey building along Azikiwe Road in Aba.

The State government announced this in a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu.

Kalu expressed sadness over the collapse of the 3-storey building which was under construction on Wednesday.

“The Governor immediately directed relevant agencies to the location as well as mobilized earth moving equipment to the site on a search and rescue mission. So far, we have one confirmed fatality and those on site are working to see if there are others trapped in the rubble”.

On the possible cause of the collapse, he said investigations are ongoing by government and security agents including men of the state police command, fire service and town planning authorities to unravel the truth.

According to preliminary information that the plan for the building is yet to be approved with on-site evaluations,

The information also indicated that the materials used to construct the collapsed part of the structure were sub-standard.

He further stated that security agents are currently on the hunt for the building engineer and developer of the property.

He added that most of the building was hurriedly put up during the COVID-19 lockdown period with a view to possibly evade the town planning authorities.

Kalu, therefore warned that the government will not tolerate a repeat of the situation where buildings are indiscriminately erected without proper approval and supervision, assuring that government will get to the root of the matter and ensure that all those found culpable in this particular instance are prosecuted.