Father of siblings who were killed when a hotel fence fell demands justice.

Aug 4, 2023 - 16:03
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Father of siblings who were killed when a hotel fence fell demands justice.

Ahmed Atolagbe, a 45-year-old furniture maker, wants justice for his two sons who died on July 22, 2023, when a part of a hotel fence fell on their home in the Ikorodu neighborhood of Lagos State.

The father, who was raised in Kwara State, said on Thursday that disaster struck when a hotel's fence fell on his three-room apartment on Alao Street, Olainukan Bus Stop, Isawo in Ikorodu during a downpour.

The father of six claimed that when his sitting room collapsed, his two sleeping boys, aged seven and nine, respectively, Roqeeb and Abdulwahab, both killed instantly.

In addition, he said that his first child and wife, Omotola, both sustained injuries.

He explained, "I had already arrived at my furniture workshop in Irawo when I got a distress call telling me that I needed to go home to take care of a critical matter.

"By the time I arrived home, I discovered that a hotel's fence next to my property had crumbled due to the impact of the erosion caused by the hotel.

"Two of my sons were killed when the fence fell on my house. My oldest son also sustained injuries. For my wife, the situation was too much. She fell and was taken to the hospital right away.

The case, according to Atolagbe, was initially referred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, even though it was initially brought up at the Owutu Police Divisional Headquarters.

In spite of efforts to prevent the matter from reaching a judge, Atolagbe remarked, "I want justice for my children."

Femi Falana, SAN, a human rights attorney, urged the state government to look into the incident and carry out an integrity test on the hotel building to prevent a repeat in an interview with PUNCH Metro.

"The state government should take control of the situation and look into the circumstances leading up to the collapse," Falana added.

"The authorities should make sure that those innocent kids who perished in the collapse while they were asleep receive justice.

"The hotel building and its fence should also undergo an integrity test by the government to ensure they don't collapse on other people."

However, a source revealed that the hotel's owner was now being held by the police and that a deal had been made to give the bereaved family money and help them rebuild their home until Atolagbe abruptly pulled out of the deal.

When our correspondent called the state police public relations officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, to ask about the status of the case's investigation, he was unable to reach him.

As of the time this report was filed, he had also not replied to a message that was sent to him.

On July 22, 2023, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State, confirmed the occurrence.

This is to certify the survival of two children who were caught in a partial building collapse that happened at 25, Ajao Street, CWC, Olainukan Bus Stop, Ishawo, Ikorodu at approximately 11.30 a.m., said Farinloye.

When a fence from a neighboring house fell on their building during an accident, Rokeeb Atolagbe, age nine, and Mujeeb Atolagbe, age seven, became trapped.

The failure to correctly direct the distress calls to the individuals tasked with saving the children's lives at the appropriate moment was extremely regrettable.

"The Lagos State Building Control Agency is now assessing the situation on the ground. May God comfort the parents and forgive the deceased.

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