Update on Rivers collapsed building: 6 dead, 38 rescued; Wike orders arrest of owner

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has ordered the arrest of the owner of the collapsed 7-storey building, the contractor and state government officials who gave approval for the building to be constructed.

This is even as six dead bodies had been evacuated from the building while 38 others rescued alive.

Wike who was out of the country when the incident happened on Friday evening, also directed the State Attorney-General to set up a Commission of Inquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the collapse of the 7-storey building located at Woji road, New GRA in Port Harcourt.

He described the building collapse as a sad development, which had led to the painful loss of lives.

Our Correspondent's investigation showed that the owner of the building is one Joseph Allagoa, a Port Harcourt 'boy', a big player in oil and gas business but from the big Allagoa family from Nembe, Ijaw in Bayelsa State.

He said: "I feel so pained that we have to face this kind of calamity at this time. I commiserate with the families that have lost their loved ones who came to seek their daily bread.

"Government will do all it can to give them the necessary support. I have directed the Attorney-General of Rivers State to ensure that all legal steps are taken to do what is right within the ambit of the law ".

The governor ordered the immediate arrest of the owner of the collapsed building, saying that the State Government would bring all culprits to book.

"Whoever that approved this structure and those involved in the construction will face the law. Government will take every necessary step to ensure that culprits are brought to justice .

"Whoever is involved, from the owner or the contractor or the officials of the state, they will face the full weight of the law," he said.

Speaking when he led top government officials to visit the site of the collapsed 7-storey building on Sunday, Wike noted that all officials of the Rivers State Government who defaulted in their duties would be sanctioned.

The governor was accompanied by his wife, Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike and top government officials.

He said: "Government will take steps to acquire this property. We cannot allow this illegality. If you look at masterplan of this area, a 7-storey building is not allowed here".

As at Sunday, 38 persons have been rescued, while six persons have been confirmed dead.

Emma Okah, the Commissioner for Information and communications confirmed to our Correspondent that the search has been intensive.

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