7-storey building collapse: Rivers gov vows to prosecute indicted officials

Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has vowed that any official indicted over the collapsed 7-storey building on Woji Road in New GRA, Port Harcourt,  would be duly prosecuted.

Wike in a statement by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media,  Simeon Nwakaudu, said that any government official serving or retired who was indicted would face the full weight of the law.

The governor spoke during the presentation of reports by two judicial commissions of inquiry instituted by the state government.

They commissions are: the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on 7-storey Building Collapse and the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on Management and Affairs of Integrated Medical Industries Limited (Auto Syringe Factory).

He said: “Let me assure you that we wouldn’t have wasted our time and resources setting up the commissions of inquiry. The reports will be duly implemented.

“Anybody indicted for the collapsed building will face the law. If you are connected to the deaths of people, we will prosecute you for murder.”

The governor gave the assurance that his administration would implement the reports of the two commissions.

He announced the setting up of a seven-member committee to take immediate steps for the implementation of the recommendations of the two commissions of inquiry.

Wike said that the Rivers government would take measures to re-structure and professionalise the state Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning.

On the Integrated Medical Industries Limited (Auto Syringe Factory), he said that government could not be taken for granted.

Chairman of the commission of inquiry on building collapse, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, said approval process at the Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning was a “mangled mess of procedures.”

He said the gory details of the videos were enough to force out tears from the strongest of men.

The commission’s chairman said from findings, the current commission of inquiry was the most incisive x-ray of the operation of the ministry.

Enebeli urged the governor not to allow the report to be confined to the dustbin of inaction, in deference to those who died in the building collapse.

Also, the Chairman of the second commission of inquiry, Justice Constance Green, said the findings and recommendations was a four-volume report.

Green expressed the hope that Wike would implement the report, adding that the recommendations of the commission were in line with its 10-point terms of reference.

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