A former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Friday, called on the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to tell Nigerians if he is the owner of the 21-storey building that collapsed at Ikoyi, Lagos State or not.
One of the three high rise buildings under construction at Ikoyi, had caved in on Monday killing the developer and Chief Executive of Fourscore Heights Limited, Femi Osibona and 32 others.
Many workers were left with varied degrees of injuries while some are said to be missing.
Frank, who is the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), Ambassador to East Africa and Middle East, in a statement in Abuja, commiserated with the families that lost loved ones and sympathised with those who were injured as a result of the building collapse.
He said his call on Osinbajo to tell Nigerians the truth about his ownership of the building has become necessary to lay to rest speculations allegedly linking him to the buildings.
He said: “Yesterday I read a statement signed by one Richard Akinnola “for and on behalf of friends and associates of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo” which sought to dispel rumours about the Vice President’s interests in the buildings and I began to wonder why this should come from friends, when Osinbajo is not known to to lack the courage and eloquence to make his points.”
According to Akinnola, “The social media has suddenly become awash with information trying to link the VP directly or indirectly to the collapsed structure,” adding that “some mischief makers are trying to score cheap political goals and use this very sad situation to tarnish the name and image of our hardworking and humble Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.”
Frank said: “We believe that the VP is not encumbered in any manner to issue a rebuttal or deny the viral allegations, if necessary, to warrant ‘friends’ to come to his rescue.
“We believe Osinbajo has a capable media aide who has been speaking on his behalf on several issues.
“Is Akinnola and his ‘league of friends’ meddlesome interlopers in this matter or is there any thing that the VP is hiding by refusing to speak directly to allegations that he is the owner of the structure?
“Nigerians need to know the truth and this truth can only come from the VP and not third parties whose locus standi in this matter is questionable at best.
“We don’t believe the VP has any connection with the building but Nigerians who may have been misled by the rumour mill need to hear from the VP to correct the seeming misinformation.
“Until that is done, several questions already being asked by Nigerians will escalate. For instance, Nigerians are asking: Is the VP actually the owner of the collapsed Ikoyi building? If he is the owner does his fees, salaries and emoluments in and out of office enough to raise such structures? If he is not the owner as being speculated, why is he (VP) not speaking up?
“Is it a coincidence that both Osinbajo and Osibona are from Ikenne in Ogun State? Is it also coincidence that Osibona’s brother worked with the VP from 2015 to 2019? Was Osibona a front for Osinbajo or the real owner of the land and buildings? If the building is not for him, who is the top government official that allegedly owns the land and structures?”
He called on the Lagos State Government to tell Nigerians how a 15-storey structure duly approved by it got to 21 floors.
He called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as the chief custodian of the Lagos State Land Registry, to tell Nigerians the real owner of the land and buildings and those ‘powers from above’ that prevented the statutory government agencies like the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) from calling the developer to order when he exceeded the approved limit for the structure.
He also called on Sanwo-Olu to not to sweep the report of the panel of inquiry already set up to unravel the horrendous incident like was done in similar circumstances in the past.