Onitsha building collapse: Bishop Nwokolo sets up investigative panel

SPOTLIGHTS

  • The five-storey building collapsed on 12 June 2024, claiming one life and injuring two
  • The investigative panel consists of legal, architectural, and engineering professionals
  • The panel will examine building plans, approvals, materials, and construction practices
  • A report is expected within one month

From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

Following the collapse of the Centenary building at Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS), the Bishop of the Niger Anglican Communion, Onitsha, Anambra State, Rt. Rev. Dr. Owen Nwokolo, has set up a nine-man investigative panel to ascertain the cause of the building collapse.

The five-storey building, which was at its finishing stages, collapsed on 12 June 2024, at about 1 a.m., claiming one life and injuring two workers at the site.

Addressing journalists after the seven bishops of the Province of the Niger, led by Bishop Alex Ibezim, visited the site of the collapsed building, Bishop Nwokolo said that the chairman of the panel is the Justice of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Pete Obiora.

Other members of the panel include Barr. Sir Andy Obianwu (Secretary), Arc. Shed Onwuasoanya, Dr. Azuka Onweluzo, Engr. Ofodile Anieto, Surv. Samuel Akabogu, Engr. Chukwunonso Igboka, and Arc. Kingsley Ibekwe.

Read also: No approvals given for collapsed Onitsha school building – NBRRI

According to the Bishop, the terms of reference include:

– To examine the administrative and technical processes followed during the building to ensure that proper procedures were followed.

– To study the building plans to ensure that they meet the expected standards.

“To enquire whether approval was sought and obtained from the approving authority for the building to proceed.
To enquire whether the Architectural design of the building was by a qualified Architect registered with the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria.

“To enquire whether the Structural designs of the building was by a structural engineer registered with COREN. To enquire whether the building was properly supervised during the actual construction of the project.

“To determine whether the materials (rod) used in the construction underwent a rigorous quality assurance process including testing by the Anambra State Materials Testing Laboratory, Awka. To make [an] effort to identify the reason for the collapse of the building. To ask other questions that may aid your work.

“We expect your report within one month from this day, 17th day of June, 2024, being the date of the inauguration of the panel. May the Lord grant you the wisdom and ability to handle this matter creditably and to the glory of God,” Bishop Nwokolo admonished.

Also, Bishop Ibezim, who led other bishops of the Province of the Niger to the site of the collapsed building, commiserated with the Bishop of the Niger over the huge loss.

He prayed [that] God [would] grant the soul of the one person who died in the disaster eternal rest and [a] quick recovery for those injured and thanked God for saving many lives of students who were on midterm break when the incident happened.

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