Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the immediate arrest of the owner of the collapsed building on GRA Phase 2 in Port Harcourt.
Wike vowed that the state government would bring those responsible for the collapse of the building 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.
The governor 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 privately-owned seven-storey building at Woji road, New GRA in Port Harcourt.
Wike described the building collapse as a sad development, which had led to the painful loss of lives.
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, who spoke when he led top government officials to visit the site of the collapsed seven-storey building on Sunday, added that all officials of the Rivers State Government who defaulted in their duties will be sanctioned.
He was accompanied by his wife, Justice 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 the master plan of this area, a seven-storey building is not allowed here.”
Wike commended the construction giants, security agencies and non-governmental organisations for working with the Rivers State Government to carry out rescue operations at the site of the building collapse.
It will be recalled that the seven-storey building on Woji road collapsed on Friday, with the Rivers State Government mobilising emergency services to rescue trapped persons.
As at Sunday, 38 persons have been rescued, while six persons have been confirmed dead.
The governor, however, directed that rescue operations should continue.