On Tuesday, the 8th of March, 2016, a five story building under construction along Lekki-Epe expressway collapsed, leaving about 34 people dead. The said building was owned by Lekki Gardens and the MD, Richard Nyong under the instruction of Lagos state government reported himself to the office of the commissioner of police.
However, Nigerians were shocked to see the MD and his contractor handcuffed to the court for the commencement of trial.
A lot of celebrities have reacted to the situation, expressing their displeasure regarding the incarceration of the 34 year old real estate mogul.
Popular OAP, Freeze was the first to express his opinion, saying
“What really is Justice???
I have no qualms seeing a young man who committed a crime pay for that crime. Life is sad, before Richard came along, you could not dream of buying a house in LEKKI for 20million naira, his dream was to make choice housing affordable and available. Somewhere down the line mistakes were made and lives were lost! And yes I agree…… Someone must pay!
Now my questions;
Why is he in handcuffs and remanded in prison when that ‘prophet’ whose building collapsed and killed more people than Ebola, Lassa fever and this alleged ‘LEKKI gardens’ put together is walking free??? Why is that prophet not in handcuffs too??? It was even alleged, that he didn’t show up in court the last time the courts sat. Is this true??? If it is true, then why is Richard ‘remanded’ in prison while Mr prophet ‘comes from home’??? Is there a special court for ‘prophets’ or do we have special ‘laws’ for them???
Is our government afraid of prophets???
Are the people who lost their lives in the Church less valuable than the people who lost their lives in the LEKKI Gardens saga?
My humble advice: Richard should be released to go home and attend hearings from home like the ‘prophet’. Or the ‘prophet’ should be picked up, handcuffed and locked in the same cell with Richard while he attends trial!
Or does the change we voted for include turning Nigeria into the African version of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, where “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others?”
I might not know law and justice, but I definitely know injustice!
I appeal to everyone to lend their voice to this and ensure we have ‘JUSTICE FOR ALL'”
Elsie Okpocha, wife of ace comedian, BasketMouth said,
“His name is Richard Nyong, the managing Director of Lekki Gardens, the construction company in charge of the 5-storey building which collapsed on Tuesday.
Many of us right now would go with the information the media gives, but then, that is the much they know. The truth some of us know and are very sure of is that Richard’s best friend was put in charge of this said project but he did a very bad job so it was taken away from him and given to another contractor to handle.
This particular building was already marked as defective because of the sub-standard materials that were used. Richard had even signed a contract with another company to repair it. But it was so unfortunate that the labourers had made the place their home since they had nowhere to live and this was definitely against the company’s policy. Labourers were supposed to leave the site at 6pm and resume at 8am,this building collapsed at 3am.
The truth needs to be told and heard. Please, let Justice be done appropriately; this man right here is innocent. And may the Souls of the departed rest in peace.”
Here’s what comedian, Seyilaw had to say:
‘It will not be wrong to say that my judgement can be crowded by my emotions on the recent happening with Lekki Gardens as Mr. Richard Nyong, the MD is a friend. I must sincerely express my deep and hearfelt condolences and sympathy to the families of the deceaseds and those injured in the collapsed building.
‘I am also of the opinion that the law takes its due course and everyone be given equal rights. I don’t want to go into the details of this as Freeze, one of the best OAPs in this country has spoken about it already. I can say for sure that I can testify to the good intentions of Mr. Richard Nyong in the provision of affordable housing for the benefits of Nigerians.
‘I don’t mean to insult the intelligence of anybody. I beg to say that Mr. Richard deserves to be treated right until the court makes any pronouncement. My prayers is with him and the families of those affected by this unfortunate incident. God bless you all.”
Ayo Makun, popularly known as AY has also reacted to the arrest saying,
“The Collapse of the Lekki Garden building is indeed an unforeseen tragedy that still hits me all the way to my soul. My deepest sympathy and condolences to those people who have died, been hurt and people who lost their love ones. As a one-time ambassador to Lekki Gardens, it will be difficult to disengage myself from the company whose vision was designed to help every common man to becoming landlords in Nigeria. In times like this we are one family. Let us standup and pray for all the families who have suffered and wish them peace in knowing that their loved ones may have gone on ahead of them to be with God Almighty. I know there is nothing I can say to ease anyone’s sorrow, but this is just to let these families know that my thoughts are with them. As we sympathize with the families of the bereaved, let me clearly state that every human life is of inevitable value. No sentiment or general conviction would justify the sacrifice of human life. For this reason I have maintained a position of silence because of my affiliations with Lekki Gardens. The care of human life and property is one of the core responsibilities of a good government. Hence I will also not blame the government and their ‘quick response’ actions against the management of Lekki Gardens. Finally, I do know that the social Media is now for the good, the bad and the ugly. It is even more of an open battlefield, where abuses fly from one to another, destroying lives, self-esteem and individual self-worth. As much as I still believe in the vision of Mr Richard Nyong’s Lekki Garden Real Estate project that has delivered over 6,000 homes to Nigerians, I want to hold hands with the Lekki Gardens family and grow stronger during this time of despair, and pray for a man whom has become a victim of circumstance. A man who truly cares for others. A man who has helped a lot of people within and outside his community. A man who single handedly handled the constructions and repairs of Government roads within Lekki. A creator of employment to thousands. This is not to position him above the law, it is a beacon for fairness within due process, peace and justice. #letsbefair”
Meanwhile, Governor Ambode of Lagos State has approved the dismissal of three staff of Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) in relation to the unfortunate event. Adeigbe Olushola, GM of the Agency, Adeoye Thomas, Head of Inspection and Quality Control, and Dosunmu Gbadebo, Zonal District Officer were the three civil servants who were relieved of their duties in the agency.
Source: Instagram | TheCable