The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has condemned the Nigerian Institute of Building, Lagos State Chapter for appointing an official who was earlier dismissed from his duty post for his negligence that led to the loss of lives, with a leadership position.
CACOL described the appointment of Mr Adeyemi Adeoye as “inhuman, unjust and callous” adding that he was an official of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) that was dismissed from service over complicity in the collapsed Lekki Gardens 6-storey building that took the lives of many people at Elegushi, Lekki, Lagos on 8th March, 2016.
The anti-graft centre made this known in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Debo Adeniran, stating that Adeoye’s appointment was “tantamount to playing with the sensibilities of the people and making a mockery of past efforts at sanctioning building collapse perpetrators.”
“The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has condemned the inhuman, unjust and callous act of Nigerian Institute of Building, Lagos State Chapter for rewarding one of their members who was earlier dismissed from his duty post for his negligence that led to the loss of lives, with a leadership position,” the statement read.
“When those who are saddled with the responsibility of preventing the untimely death of human beings in building collapse fail, they should be made accountable for performance deficiency.
“To reward a builder, a government official, who failed in his duty ( leading to the premature death of 35 persons in the collapsed Lekki Gardens building) with the leadership of the Nigerian Institute of Building in Lagos State is tantamount to playing with the sensibilities of the people and making a mockery of past efforts at sanctioning building collapse perpetrators.
“Importantly, people’s memory and conscience should not be toyed with. Every conscientious Nigerian must resist the attempt to sweep the anomaly, immoral act under the carpet. Tolerance to sharp practices negates the principled stance required in building quality adherence.
“The Nigerian Institute of Building is one of the professional associations that have been championing the battle against building collapse. Its role in the equation of building collapse prevention automatically becomes contradictory when the body is now being led by an accomplice of building collapse. It means no lessons are being learned from building collapse syndrome that has portrayed Lagos State and Nigeria in general as the land of non- law abiding citizens.
“The Nigerian Institute of Building must be confronted with the honest truth, the maxim of equity that he ‘who comes into equity must come with clean hands’. The Institute cannot be complaining against quackery in the Nigerian building industry while, in a double standard, it is promoting indiscipline within its hierarchy. This is totally unacceptable.
“Mr. Adeyemi Adeoye was one of the officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) that were dismissed from service over complicity in the collapsed Lekki Gardens 6- storey building that took the lives of many people at Elegushi, Lekki, Lagos on 8th March, 2016. The dismissal was intended to reduce corrupt practices among government officials. However, in a questionable circumstance, he was, many months later, reinstated in the state service but redeployed to the state’s Ministry of Works.
“At this juncture, one must not hesitate to ask a fundamental moral question: What courage and sincerity would such a discredited civil servant (with sordid background) possess to advance the battle against building collapse as the Chairman of the NIOB Lagos State Chapter? What value will a guilty conscience add to the tenets of building collapse prevention? Is this a surreptitious design by certain corrupt government officials to take over the leadership of active anti-building collapse organisations in order to whittle down the fight against building collapse in Lagos State? Astute developers would hardly succeed in disobeying building regulations without the connivance of corrupt government officials.
“The Lagos State Government and the regulatory body in the building sector, that is, Council for Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) must do the needful over this inappropriate role given to a culprit in building collapse that claimed many lives in Lagos. It is unfortunate that the regulatory bodies in the building industry hardly sanction their erring members.
“The need for the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to review the relevance of its regulatory bodies cannot be over-emphasised. The ‘paddy-paddy’ or ‘man-know-man’ system of operation within the regulatory bodies encourages indiscipline among the members or practitioners.
“Professional Bodies should desist from promoting impunity and contemptuous coverup that are detrimental to societal safety. Corruption is a major cause of building collapse. Lack of consequence is a doctrine that must necessarily be uprooted from the Nigerian building industry in order to reduce the spate of building collapse and the attendant loss of lives and property.
“The NIOB must correct its avoidable error of laying a dangerous and condemnable precedent. Other active anti-building collapse organisations should take necessary precautionary measures to ensure that the leadership is secured against manipulation and secretly planned hijack by a corrupt cult in the service (as revealed by an investigation)
“The war against Building Collapse must be intensified in order to protect lives.”