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Ikoyi Building Collapse: Provisional Approval Not Given Before Construction Started – LASBCA

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The Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) told a Coroners Inquest investigating the November 1 collapse of a 21-story building on Gerrard Road in Ikoyi, Lagos, that the three high-rise blocks were built months before the provisional license was granted.

Mr. A.S Odugbemi, counsel for the LASBCA, made the claim while questioning Mr Muritala Olawale, Managing Director of Prowess Engineering Nigeria Ltd. Olawale had previously worked on the project as a consulting structural engineer.

He resigned his position in a letter dated February 20, 2020, citing disagreements about the project’s structural execution.

At the coroner’s proceedings, Odugbemi disputed the contents of paragraph 17 of Olawale’s statement on oath to the inquest, stating that late Femi Osibona, the Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Limited, had informed his team that he had received provisional approval for the project’s construction.

According to Olawale’s statement on oath, Osibona showed his team a copy of the provisional approval from the Lagos State government and ordered them to commence construction on the site.

Disputing Olawale’s claims, Odugbemi said that LASBCA never granted Osibona a provisional planning permit when the team moved to the site to commence construction in January 2019, adding that LASBCA granted provisional approval in April 2019.

“Will you be surprised if the evidence is provided to you right now that work had started before the provisional planning approval was granted in April 2019?” Odugbemi asked.

Responding, Olawale said “I will be surprised. All the approval processes were being handled by the client (Osibona).”

Olawale did not give a specific answer to Odugbemi’s query on whether the three high-rise blocks were covered by a general insurance policy as required by law.

He, however, informed the panel that prior to construction, a soil test was conducted at the site by another company contracted to do the job, disclosing that “we have submitted the result of the soil test of the site to other panels investigating the collapse.”

Of the three high-rise buildings (Blocks A, B, and C) which were situated on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Block B (21-storeys) collapsed on November 1, 2021, killing 46 persons while 15 persons were rescued alive.

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BIG STORY

Prevail On Nigeria, Benin Republic To Release Sunday Igboho – Afenifere To International Community

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Afenifere, a Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organization, has urged the international community to press the Nigerian and Benin Republic governments to free Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho.

The group also urged the Federal Government to pay Adeyemo the damages awarded to him by the court as a result of the attack on his person and property, according to a communique issued at the end of its first annual general meeting held at the residence of its acting national leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, in Isanya-Ogbo, Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State, on Tuesday.

The meeting had in attendance the former governor of Kwara State, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, former deputy governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, and Chief Supo Shonibare.

Others were Chief Sola Ebiseni, the Secretary General, Dr. Gbola Adetunji, Chief Korede Duyile, Abagun Kole Omololu, Hon. Leke Mabinuori, Chief Kofoworola Doherty, Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, Chief Tunde Onakoya, Senator Femi Lanlehin, Jumoke Ajasin-Anifowose, Chief Segun Olawoyin, Deacon Owolabi Oladejo, Chief Olu Pesu, and Reverend Goke Omigbodun.

Afenifere also called on the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu on political consideration as it was done in the case of Asari Dokubo under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The group noted that the country had been under the siege of security challenges which it described as unprecedented in the history of the country, just as it stressed the need for the Federal Government to consider the establishment of state Police in order to address insecurity.

It said: “In recent times, we have consistently expressed concern on the situation of insecurity in Nigeria today. We have also always recommended what we consider the ways out of the unprecedented security challenges facing us. In this respect, we strongly call on the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the introduction of state Police equipped with requisite means to enhance security in the states and that of the federation ultimately.

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BIG STORY

3 Out Of 20 FCT Women Experience Office Rape – Survey

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Fifty-one percent of women working in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) say they have experienced some type of sexually related violence at work.

Three out of twenty women acknowledged being raped in their offices, according to the submission, which is based on HEIR Women Development’s research findings.

The study, which aimed to bring the reality of gender-based violence in the workplace to light, found that 55 percent of women do not understand what constituted sexual harassment.

Dr. Obianuju O. Nnadozie, an economist from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), who lead the research team that sampled responses from 1000 women online and 60 women off-line said, 77% of the women complained about bullying in the workplace while 70% of women lamented what they described as inflexible work hours that formed advancement barriers to them.

Dr. Obianuju shared the research findings at an HEIR Women validation meeting of research findings at a zoom meeting.

She said the findings called for an Empowerment of young women against sexual harassment, and support organizational coordination to ensure compliance with sexual harassment policies at workplaces in the Federal Capital Territory.

According to her: “Findings from the online survey and in-depth interviews suggest that sex is prevalent at the workplace in the FCT. Specifically, the online survey shows that:

“1 in 2 women (51%) reported that they have been sexually harassed at the workplace.

“More than 3 in 4 women (78%) have experienced verbal sexual harassment in the workplace.

“About 3 in 4 women (74%) reported that they have experienced cyber sexual harassment.

According to the research Sexual harassment is prevalent at workplaces in the FCT, Abuja and it can/should be addressed.

It continued that “there is little or no organizational measures/mechanisms and, where present, a lack of trust in the existing organizational measures that should address sexual harassment at workplaces in the FCT.”

It also noted that there exists a very limited understanding of the context of a safe working environment, gender-based standards, and its importance.

In the light of the above, appropriate actions should be taken to enlighten young women against sexual harassment as well as encourage organizations existing measures and adopt, where necessary, best practices to harassment/career barriers at the workplace, the survey stated.

More findings on the report showed that 71% of women have experienced online stalking which the researcher pointed out was an emerging threat that must be looked into.

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GIST

Nigerian Women Ranked Top Consumer Of Bleaching Creams In Africa

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Nigerian women have been identified as Africa’s top users of skin-whitening cosmetics.

Whitening creams are cosmetics that lighten the skin by reducing the amount of melanin or pigment in the skin.

Skin that is lighter is thought to be more attractive and to have greater social chances, such as marriage and job.

Women and people of color in every region are primarily served by the skin-whitening industry.

According to reports, women account for roughly 80% of all skin-whitening product sales worldwide.

Data drawn by CNN ranked Nigeria as the top consumer of these creams, with 75 percent of its women patronizing whitening products.

This is followed closely by Senegal at 60 percent, Mali at 50 percent, and Ghana at 30 percent.

The global market for skin whitening was put at an estimated $8 billion in 2020 and projected to increase by nearly half of that figure within six years to hit $11.8 billion by 2026.

Also, creams dominate the market for skin-whitening products and are expected to hit $6.6 billion by 2027.

The Asia-Pacific market accounted for over half of the global revenue (54.3%) from skin-whitening products in 2018 and is expected to grow the most.

The rest of the world accounted for (45.7%) within the same period.

China was projected as being among the fastest-growing markets for such products.

Whitening products often contain toxic ingredients which, when used cosmetically for long durations without medical guidance, can both damage the skin and cause life-threatening ailments.

The chemicals used to lighten skin vary greatly worldwide and are constantly evolving.

They include antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin C, and collagen.

Three ingredients have been listed as being the most common in harmful whitening products worldwide.

They include steroids, hydroquinone, and mercury, all of which are heavily regulated in most countries.

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