A three-storey building under construction located opposite the Abakaliki Local Government Area Headquarters at Nkaliki collapsed in the early hours of Wednesday.
No life was lost while the state government had ordered immediate sealing of the building site.
Mr Okoro Emegha, the Ebonyi Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, who visited the site of the collapsed building, attributed the incident to use of fake and substandard materials.
Emegha directed the immediate arrest of the site engineer and owner of the structure over alleged violation of building code in the state.
He further directed demolition of the remaining collapsed parts of the structure, which posed threats to the lives of people living in the area.
“Government will launch an investigation to ascertain the cause of the collapse but in the interim, we are sealing the site and security operatives will be put on watch to ensure that the site is properly cordoned off.
“The site engineer will be arrested. We cannot tolerate any shoddy job that will endanger the lives of our people.
“Anyone found culpable for violating the laid-down building code resulting in the collapse will be charged according to the extant building laws of the state.
“Police and men of the State Neighborhood Security Watch will mount surveillance and ensure that no one gains access into the site,” Emegha said.
The commissioner noted that no lives were lost in the incident, and expressed profound gratitude to God for averting loss of lives.
He advised prospective builders to always secure all the necessary approvals from relevant government authorities before embarking on building construction in the state.
Meanwhile, Mrs Chinyelu Udoku, Special Assistant to Gov. Dave Umahi on State Capital Development, expressed shock at the incident.
Udoku directed that the Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board (ACDB) should provide approval papers and other relevant documents that approved the construction work.
She urged residents living close to the site of the collapsed building to vacate the area immediately and ordered for complete pulling down of the remaining debris.
“Officials of the ACDB will provide approval papers and all relevant documents that authorised the construction of the building as well as officials who supervised the building up to the level where it collapsed.
“Anybody found to have compromised the laid standard for construction of high-rise buildings in the state will definitely be made to face the law,” she said.
When contacted, Mr Kenneth Adoyi, the Zonal Chairman, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), said that he had yet to receive information about the incident.
He said that he and other officials were in Abuja for a crucial council exercise but assured that he would send one of the state officials to visit the scene of the incident.
Efforts to speak with Mrs Loveth Odah, Police Public Relations Officer on the development were not successful. (NAN)
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