The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has called for the prosecution of builders found culpable in building collapse incidents in any part of the country.
Mr Fashola, who spoke in his office in Abuja while hosting members of the National Building Code Advisory Committee who paid him a courtesy visit, said where an investigation has been concluded in any event of building collapse and someone was found not to have complied to any of the building standards, such a person should be prosecuted as an example to others.
Expressing regrets that there has been little or no prosecution of any person after an investigation has been concluded over a collapsed building, the minister noted, “Somebody must have acted wrongly, either in the design stage, whether it is in the material supply, whether it is in the compliance stage, somebody did something that he or she should not have done”, adding that such a person must be exposed and taken up for prosecution.
“I think that we have come to a point where after each unfortunate collapse we go back to the investigations, let us find one person who has acted wrongly; somebody must have acted wrongly, either in the design stage, whether it is in the material stage, whether it is in the compliance stage, somebody did something that he or she should not have done. Find that person and let us take him up for prosecution,” the minister said.
Pointing out that such an example was what every society needed, the minister said people needed to know that there would be consequences for non-compliance to the law adding that because people have died in any event of building collapse, the culprit could become answerable for manslaughter or for criminal negligence or answerable for so many other things.
“It is important for people to know that those laws are there to affect how people behave and that when people don’t comply with those laws there would be consequences”, he said adding that once somebody was made to answer questions before the public, “irrespective of the outcome, others will sit up. People will know that it is no longer the way it was and that you do it at your own peril”.