Lekki Gardens Estate Limited has claimed only 5 workers died in last year collapse of one of its buildings under construction in Lagos.
It expressed readiness to compensate families of the deceased.
It said it was awaiting the names of the victims which would be released by the Lagos State Government in accordance with the DNA identity verification test.
The company said this through its lawyer, Bolaji Abimbola, while reacting to the allegation by Mrs. Kemi Oduberu, mother of Yinka Oyeleye, one of the bricklayers who died in the collapse.
Oduberu had lamented that her son’s corpse had yet to be released to the family more than a year after the incident.
Abimbola, however, explained that a suit filed against Lekki Gardens indicated that only five people died at the site and not 35 as reported.
“While we feel the grief and share in the pain of the mother of this said victim, we strongly believe that the issue at hand on the release of the corpse is that of the Lagos State Government and not that of Lekki Gardens.
“Just like the mother, the company is also waiting on the Lagos State Government to release the names of the victims in accordance with the DNA identity verification test, as well as their corpses, in order for the company to carry out its planned compensation initiatives”, he said.
But DAILY POST gathered that reports figures given by Lekki Gardens is untrue.
Precisely on March 8, 2016, DAILY POST was the first media outfit to arrive (8:40am), few hours after the five-storey structure located at the end of Kushenla road, Chisco bus stop, Ikate Elegushi, sunk after a downpour.
LASEMA General Manager, Michael Akindele, told our correspondent in an interview at the scene that the agency received the news minutes after the collapse.
“We received calls informing us of the collapse at about 4:40am this morning on our 767 and 112 emergency lines,” he recalled.
“Immediately, LASEMA and other responders including the State Fire Service, State Ambulance Service, Red Cross, NEMA, Nigeria Police, FRSC, NSCDC, and DSS, mobilized and quickly commenced search and rescue operation as well as security of the area.
“As I speak to you now, 10 male have been recovered and confirmed dead. 10 were rescued alive, including the male you witnessed being brought out.
“Their remains are with the Lagos State Environment Health Monitoring Unit and will be moved to Mainland Hospital morgue”.
On March 10, two days after the incident, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) disclosed that the official number of deaths was 34 and 13 injured. It was gathered that one of those injured later died.
It remains unclear how then the company arrived at its own casualty figure.
Meanwhile, a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere on June 1, 2017, issued a bench warrant of arrest against Sola Olumofe, one of the contractors who handled building constructions at Lekki Garden Estate Limited.
Olumofe had failed to appear before the court on two consecutive occasions and this cause the presiding judge, Justice Nwaka, to issue the warrant.
Lagos government is prosecuting him alongside Lekki Gardens Managing Director, Richard Nyong for alleged negligence.
Other defendants are Taiwo Odofin, Omolabake Mortune, Marius Agwu and Omotilewa Joseph. They are standing trial alongside their companies, Lekki Gardens Estate Ltd, GT Rich Ltd and HC Insight Solutions Ltd.