Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has indefinitely suspended the Chairman of Abakaliki Capital Development Board, Uche Onwe, with all his Board members over a collapsed three storey building in the area.
The suspension was contained in a statement endorsed by the Secretary to the State Government, Kenneth Ugbala, on Wednesday.
It attributed the Governor’s action to the failure of the Board to supervise buildings within the Capital City, which led to the collapse of the building located along Nkaliki Road in Abakaliki Local Government Area of the State.
The statement also directed all the suspended members to hand over government property in their possession to the Special Assistant to the Governor on Capital City before the close of work on Wednesday.
It further added that the Office of the SSG has been directed to work towards setting up a new task force, which would be responsible for building approvals, construction and supervision of all sites within the capital city.
The three storey building under construction was seen to have collapsed in the early hours of Wednesday.
Although there was no casualty, eyewitnesses and residents around the area confirmed that the building has been progressively under construction since 2014.
According to them, approval for the building was secured in 2013, while construction started around 2014.
A resident living close to the collapsed building, Christopher Nwokora, who narrated how himself and his family narrowly escaped being buried in the rubbles, said he was not surprised at the fate of the building.
According to Nwokora, the owner of the building lives abroad from where he has been sending money to one of his brothers for the work.
The brother, however, after the ground floor had some problem with the supervising engineer, sacked him, and has since been managing the construction by himself, a development which obviously resulted to poor job quality.
Nwokora added that the building had constituted security threat in the area as some weed -smoking youths had converted it to a hiding place for their clandestine activities.
He thanked God that no life was lost and called on contractors and building engineers to ensure the quality and standard of building materials used in building constrictions to avoid such occurrences.