Collapsed Building: FCT Minister orders arrest of FHA officials, developer
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Musa Bello, has ordered the arrest of some Federal Housing Authority (FHA) officials and the developer of the two-storey building that collapsed in Abuja on Friday.
No fewer that 24 persons were trapped in the collapsed building at 6th Avenue in Gwarimpa Estate, with three confirmed dead and 21 rescued.
Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, revealed the minister’s order to security agencies, during a press briefing, yesterday.
He said the minister issued an arrest warrant for manslaughter against the developer, the FHA officers overseeing the development, the officer-in-charge of issuing the development permission, and the engineer supervising the project.
Meanwhile, all the surrounding structures identified by the AMMC around the neighbourhood, that require investigation regarding their structural integrity, have been sealed off and declared out of bound pending the outcome of integrity test being conducted.
“If found faulty, they are going to be demolished by the FCT administration, before any life is endangered,” Shuaibu said.
According to him: “Among the statutory responsibilities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), is the development of the Federal Capital City and Territory, in line with the Abuja Master Plan.
“Accordingly, the entire Gwarinpa Estate, occupying the Gwarinpa II, Wupa and Bunkoro Districts of the Phase III of the City development, was allocated to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) by the FCT administration, to provide essentially houses and attendant services to the citizens…”
They are to develop, control and monitor, to ensure strict compliance with the Abuja Master Plan, using the land use plan as provided by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) as a guide. However, this incident is suggesting that there are flagrant violations in the development guidelines of the Wupa and Bunkoro District as developed and controlled by the FHA.”
“Our preliminary findings suggests that there were breaches in the location, the building plan approval, the control and the monitoring of the development by the FHA, with glaring criminal tendencies by the developer, and or his representative during the construction activities.
Also revealed was the glaring incapacity of the FHA to handle development control in Abuja and shoulder the responsibility of sensitive operations of this nature in cases of emergencies.
“The Gwarinpa Estate is only a fraction of what constitute the entire Federal Capital City adequately managed by the FCT administration, however, many of these unfortunate incidents were witnessed there in the past. Hence, the FCTA’s resolve to revisit that mandate ceded, in granting development permit and control to the FHA in the Gwarinpa Estate”, he said.