Worker falls from eight storey building, estate tackles Lekki Gardens

Published February 19, 2021

Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe
A construction worker , Steven Magilo, met untimely death after falling off the eighth floor of a building under construction and owned by Lekki Gardens , a property company in Lagos .
PUNCH Metro learnt that the incident happened at the Royal Palm Drive , Osborne Foreshore Estate Phase 2 , Ikoyi , Lagos State .
Our correspondent gathered that the 30 -year – old was confirmed dead in a hospital in the community , as the matter was reported at the Dolphin Police Station .

However, the Chairperson of the estate , Chinwe Ezenwa -Mba, accused Lekki Gardens of negligence, saying it was not the first time such a tragedy would be occurring in their buildings .
She said, “ Lekki Gardens is the owner of the property from which the young man fell and died . This is the third time in a space of months that workers will be falling off their buildings and plunging to their death . They have no regards for human lives .
“ Reports to relevant authorities concerning their atrocities fall on deaf ears ; immediately you mention Lekki Gardens , it ’s like a no – go area to the authorities of Lagos State .”
Chinwe said the Lagos State Safety Commission initially sealed off the building after the estate reported Magilo’ s death , adding that in less than a week , it was reopened .
The Estate Manager, Olushola Odukoya , faulted the decision of the state safety commission to reopen the building .
He said, “ The company ’s safety officers told me that the victim was doing overload by trying to get things from a crane when he fell off and died . But to us on the estate , we know that enough safety measures were not taken .

“ In the last seven months , this is the third occurrence, which they acknowledged and wrote to us. But this last death , they didn’t want us to know, so they quickly removed the body because they knew we would not take it lightly with them .
“ We always try to monitor their constructions to see that they are in accordance with the approval they got and the safety measures the estate wants in place . However, because of the peculiarity of Lekki Gardens, they feel they own the state and try to fence us off and do whatever they like , and that ’s why we call on the authorities to come in and do the needful .”
A spokesman for Lekki Gardens , Emmanuel Essien , in response to an e-mail from PUNCH Metro , denied the allegations against the firm .
He noted that the deceased was not a member of staff of the company , but was engaged by one of its contractors .
Essien said, “ This is a very unfortunate and sad incident . Although the deceased was not our staff member , we are very perturbed because he was reported to have been engaged by one of our contractors .

“ The issue of death cannot be swept under the carpet , hence the incident was properly logged within the purview of the law with the Nigeria Police Force, while the safety agency was also notified .
“ It is completely false that this will be the third death on the estate and it is untrue that the firm does not provide safety measures because as a company , we insist that our contractors submit their site / processes for regular assessments by the regulatory safety agencies and forward evidence of such audits obtained to us. Such certificates are available for sighting at our office.
“ It is also false that we’ re building more than the approved units of flats . We are building strictly within the confines of our building approval and its specifications . ”
Efforts to reach the Lagos State Safety Commission were abortive .

The telephone number of the Director -General of the agency , Lanre Mojola, did not go through, while that of the Public Relations Officer of the agency , Adewunmi Okoh , was switched off .
Text messages sent to the telephone numbers were not responded to as of press time .

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