Ebonyi Building Collapse: Umahi Suspends ACTDB Members

By Esther Nworie, Agnes Nworie and Nwogha Ndubuisi Andy

Members of Abakaliki Capital Territory Development board (ACTDB) have lost their jobs sequel to collapse of building within their jurisdiction.

The members were suspended indefinitely by the state government for laxity in their jobs, following collapse of a three storey building under construction in Abakaliki Ebonyi state capital.

In the statement signed by the Secretary to Ebonyi State Government, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, the suspended members were directed to hand over all government property in their possession to the Special Assistant to the Governor on capital city before the close of work on Wednesday 22nd July, 2020.

“Following the directive of His Excellency, the Governor of Ebonyi State Engr. David Nweze Umahi, the members of Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board are hereby suspended indefinitely from their offices with immediate effect.

“The office of Secretary to the State Government will announce a new taskforce on building approval, construction and supervision. The taskforce shall be responsible for building approvals, construction and supervision of all sites within the capital city.

“The suspended members of Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board are further directed to handover government property in their possession to SA to Governor on Capital City before the close of work on Wednesday 22nd July, 2020″, the statement noted.

The SSG assured that the state government shall announce a new taskforce on building approvals, construction and supervision of all building sites within the capital city to prevent reoccurrence of such in the state.

The 3-storey uncompleted building located opposite Abakaliki Local Government Council Headquarters Nkaliki collapsed early hours of Wednesday’s morning

Ebonyi State Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Mr. Okoro Emegha who was on ground at the site directed the site to be sealed up and called on the neighbourhood watch men to restrict movements in the area.

Hon. Emegha also directed the immediate arrest of the site engineer by the police for a shabby job done on the said building.

The SA to Governor on Capital City, Mrs.  Chinyere Udoku also directed that Abakaliki Capital Territory Board should provide the person that gave approval for the building and instructed the residents close to the collapsed building to vacate the area to a safer place.

Reacting to the incident, the Caretaker Chairman Abakaliki Local Government Area, Hon. Ben Nwovu thanked God for saving lives of the residents of the area and advised Ebonyians to always employ qualify engineers to execute building works in order to save lives of innocent families who will rent such apartment on completion.

Though, no life was lost, the Caretaker Chairman directed all the people living around the area to have a temporal relocation till the complete demolition of the building.

Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Capital City, Mrs. Chinyere Udoku had called on Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board (ACTDB) to make available building approval issued before commencement of construction of the building.

Considering the danger posed by the collapsed building, the top government officials further directed that the building should be sealed and the nearby occupants should evacuate the area.

Early that morning, the Chairman of the suspended Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board (ACTDB) Dr. Uche Onwe, had said the board had launched an investigation into the incident, adding all those found culpable will be arrested and prosecuted.

“The building is going to be demolished today and evacuated. Every building has a town planner, an engineer and a professional builder attached but in the course of construction these people compromise

“This structure wasn’t approved during my time but we take responsibility for it because government is a continuum.

According to a resident of the area, the building has been abandoned for years and was even posing a threat to residents of the area as criminals hide there to carry out their evil plans sometimes.

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