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Finally, Lekki Gardens MD, Nyong Richard, Others Arraigned Over Collapsed Building

After several legal tussles that had delayed the arraignment of those indicted over a six storeys building that collapesed sometimes in March, 2016.  

The Managing Director of Lekki Gardens Limited. Mr. Richard Nyong alongside four directors and three companies were finally arraigned before an Igbosere High Court of Lagos State, on multiple involuntary manslaughter and failure to obtained necessary building permit on the collapsed building.

Those arraigned with Nyong are: Sola Olumofe, Odofin Henry Taiwo, the engineer that supervised the collapsed structures, Omolabake Mortune, and Omotilewa Oluwatosin Joseph. While the companies are: Lekki Gardens Estate Limited, Get Too Rich Investment Limited a.K.a. GT Rich Investment Limited, and HT Insight Solution Limited, which were represented by Nyong Robert and Odofin Taiwo respectively.

After their arraignment, all the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the six counts charge.

Upon the not guilty plea, the prosecution led by the Lagos State Attornet-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kazeem Adeniji, (SAN), informed the court that all the accused persons except the second accused, Mr. Olomofe, have been cooperating with the prosecution since they were arrested and charged before a Magistrate court.

Adeniji (SAN) also informed the court of the second accused bail application and said the prosecution have responded to it. Adding that granting of bail is at Court's discretion.

However, counsels to the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth accused persons urged the court to allow the earlier bail granted their clients by either the Magistrate court or the police.

But lawyer to the second accused, Mr. G. M. O. Oguntade (SAN), pleaded with the court to also allow his client, Olumofe, to enjoy the same bail conditions admitted to other accused persons. 

Ruling on the submissions of both the prosecution and defence teams, the presiding judge, Justice Cybil Nwaka (Mrs.) said: "in view of the pleas of the first, second, third, four, five, six, seven and eight accuses persons, I will allow the first, third, four, five, six, seven and eight accused persons to continue to enjoy the earlier bail granted. But I will add that the third, fourth, fifth, sixth to deposit their international passport with the court's Deputy Chief Registrar within 24 hours".

In admitting the second accused bail the judge said: " the second accused is granted bail in the sum of N100, 000 with two sureties who are gainfully employed in government establishment. And to be verified by the court's DCR.

The judge however ordered that the second accused person is to be remanded in Prison's custody pending the perfection of the bail conditions.

The matter has been adjourned, for definite trial of the accused persons.

The Lagos State government in a charge number LD/3808c/2017, alleged in the statement of offence that the defendants failed to obtain building permit and other building approval which is contrary to section 75(1) of the Urban and Regional Planning And Development Law, CH. U2,Vol. 10 of Lagos State, 2015, when between August 2014, and March 2016, at house H15, Horizon 1 Extention, Ikate Elegunshi, in the lagos, did commence and complete construction of six storey building without building permit and approval.

They were also accused of commuter involuntary manslaughter contrary to Section 224 and punishable under Section 229 of the Criminal Laws CH. C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015, when between August 2014, and March 2016, at house H15, Horizon 1 Extention, Ikate Elegunshi, in the Lagos, commence and complete construction of six storey building with gross negligence and or reckless disregard for human life leading to the death of followings: Williams Akpati, Kazeem Ilesanmi, Raphael Ezeh, Saminu Umar, and Ezeh.

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