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Collapsed Building: Lagos Conducts DNA Test To Identify Victims

Lagos State Government has started deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests on relatives of some deceased victims of the collapsed building at Ikoyi.

The 21-storey building under construction on Gerard Road came down last Monday, killing 43 people, including its owner, Femi Osibona, also called Femi Fourscore.

Osibona was the Managing Director of Fourscore Homes, a real estate development firm.

The state government through the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, announced on Friday that relatives of the dead victims should go to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba for the identification of their deceased family members.

He said: “People can go to IDH Yaba, from 4:00pm (on Friday) to identify the bodies of their loved ones. For bodies that may be very difficult to identify, we are going to be conducting DNA tests for such bodies to be identified.

“But, the family of the late Osibona will not go through such process because they identified his body immediately he was brought out,”

At the mortuary section of the IDH, The Nation saw over 20 bereaved family members sitting under a big canopy discussing in groups in hushed tones.

Some of them said they were waiting for the officials of the mortuary section to tell them the process of identifying the bodies of their family members.

Not quite long, officials of the section came out to give numbers.

This, The Nation, learnt was meant to avoid rowdiness.

Later, forms were distributed to them one after another to fill. On submitting the form, the officials called each deceased family into the main building to collect their samples for the test.

“They just took my sample and told me to go. They promised to get back to us. Of course, our addresses and contact numbers are in the form we filled. We hope the process will be fast,” a relative told The Nation.

Another relative of a victim said the officials told her a similar thing.

“We are leaving now; we’ll be expecting their calls,” she said.

A woman suspected to be the head of the section declined to speak with The Nation.

The search-and-rescue exercise may be declared called off today.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly has called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to compensate the bereaved families. The House also urged the governor to direct relevant agencies to ensure that all requirements for buildings as stipulated in extant laws of the state are strictly adhered to.

Speaker of the House Mudasiru Obasa, while reacting to a motion, described the tragedy as an unfortunate development.

“We should exercise patience before passing comments until the findings of the committee looking into it unravels the cause.

“The status of the investors should be checked, and we should sympathise with families that lost loved ones and the government should compensate them. If the agencies had done the needful, we would not have this sad occurrence,” he said.

Nurein Akinsanya (Mushin 1), who moved the motions, expressed worry over the incessant building collapse in the state.

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