The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) at the weekend shut eight more houses at Ebute-Metta and Surulere areas of the state for failing to comply with building laws. The agency also arrested nine persons found on site during the enforcement carried out in collaboration with task force officials.
It would be recalled that last week, LABSCA closed a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), and several buildings in Ajegunle area of the state for violating building rules.
The houses shut down at the weekend were for various offences ranging from not obtaining building permit, to breaking government seals, and adding additional floor without approval, among others.
Some of the buildings affected were at No. 28, Adegbenro Street, Iwaya, Yaba for failing to obtain permit and breaking government’s seal; while another building on No. 2, Araoti Street was closed for adding additional floor to the existing three-storey building without approval and for breaking government’s seal.
A gas plant being constructed in a residential area on Borno Way, Ebute Metta was also shut for obtaining no approval, while another four-storey building at No. 9 Coates Street, Ebute Metta was shut for adding the fourth floor without approval.
A house at No. 1, Rasak Balogun Street, Surulere was shut after it was illegally inhabited by squatters, who paid money to live inside. Over 40 occupants were evacuated from the building being used as guesthouse. People evacuated from the buildings said they paid up to N20,000 monthly to live inside, even after the building was sealed in 2017 for being distressed.
One of the tenants, Beneta Joseph, said she paid N20,000 monthly to live in the house and that she did not known it had been sealed by government.
General Manager, LASBCA, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde, said the law made it clear that before erecting a building, the developer must obtain a plan approval, which most of the buildings shut down did not have.
He said all the buildings had been previously sealed, but lamented that their owners broke government’s seals to continue development illegally, which he described as a criminal offence punishable under the law.