The Lagos State government says it has filed criminal charges against Richard Nyong, the managing director of Lekki Gardens Estate Ltd, and five others over a building collapse that killed dozens of people last year.
A statement issued by the state Ministry of Justice said the defendants would face a six-count charge of failure to obtain approval for the collapsed building and unlawful manslaughter contrary to Section 75 of the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of Lagos State.
“Apart from Lekki Gardens Estate Ltd, GT Rich Ltd, HC Insight Solutions Ltd, others charged alongside Nyong are Taiwo Odofin, Omolabake Mortune, Maruis Agwu, Sola Olumofe and Omotilewa Joseph,” said the statement signed by Kayode Oyekanmi, Assistant Director, Public Affairs, at the ministry.
“The criminal charge, which was filed on February 17, 2017, is yet to assigned a date for arraignment of the defendants.”
In December last year, a Chief Magistrate Court in Ebute-Metta adjourned till February 23 this year to know whether the Lagos State would file a criminal charge against the defendants.
At least 30 people died when a five-storey building belonging to the defendants, collapsed in the early hours of March 8.
The Lagos State government said the owners of the building, Messrs Lekki Worldwide Estate Ltd and Get Too Rich Investment Limited, went behind its building regulatory agency to add two floors to the originally approved three-storey building.
Three senior officers of the Lagos State Building Control Agency were sacked in the aftermath of the incident.
After the collapse of the building, an Ebute-Metta Chief Magistrate Court ordered the remand of Mr. Nyong for 30 days to enable the police investigate the incident.
However, Magistrate Folashade Botoku granted bail to Mr. Nyong, 34, before the expiration of the 30 day period.
She was subsequently transferred out of the Chief Magistrate Court to a Customary Court.
The State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, after the collapse of the building, had visited the scene where he expressed a strong commitment to the protection of lives and property of all citizens in the State.
The Governor vowed to ensure justice for the victims of the collapsed building, while also assuring residents of the State that no stone would be left unturned to ensure that cases of criminal negligence and other forms of criminal activities are prosecuted.