A Taraba-based business Man, Chief Uche Obi who is the owner of the recently collapsed one-storey building in Jalingo has alleged that there were signs of chemicals noticed on the pillars which was deliberately poured to weaken them for the subsequent collapse.
Chief Obi in a Press release issued to newsmen in Jalingo said that they noticed the chemicals substance moment after the building which did not carry any load aside from the casted floor supported by 68 pillars and many beams came down.
The statement reads in parts said “it has become imperative for me to speak to you this morning after days of being silent since the collapse of my property on April 1, 2022, and the negative and skewed reportage and information flying the public space.
“Regrettably, a life was lost and people sustained injuries in the incident aside from millions of my investments that have gone down the drain within minutes.
“But rather than praying for the repose of the life that was lost in the incident, some persons are determined to feed the public with fake news and misleading information regarding the unfortunate event.
“To put the records straight, I, Uche Obi did not manufacture building materials but bought from the open market and with manufacturers the same way other dealers do.
“We want an independent investigation in this matter by certified agencies of government.
“The allegations that we used substandard materials on the site by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON’s) representative at the site of the collapsed building a few minutes after the incident speaks volumes.
“You may wish to note that I have dragged SON to court since last year when the agency sealed off my business premises along Hammaruwa way here in Jalingo for accusing me wrongly of selling substandard materials.
“I want to categorically state here that SON is biased and what they are doing by labeling the materials they have not subjected to laboratory investigation or test as substandard amounted to premeditated action and defamation of character.
“The question one would ask is, when did SON carry out a test on the materials that they jumped to conclusion that the materials used were substandard?
“How would a building of such magnitude that is in a public space go up to that level without the knowledge of the appropriate authorities?
“How powerful am I that my structure will ignore all quit notices and the appropriate authorities will allow it from the foundation to the level it was before it suddenly came down?
“Apart from the trauma myself and my family have undergone following the collapse, there is a threat to my life and I will be making a formal report to the police regarding this threat,” Obi concluded.
Reporting by Sani Sulaiman, editing by Daniel Adejo