… Insist VP has no link to the structure, as Osinbajo condoles with affected families***
…Chief Ade. Ojo debunks Sahara News Publication***
Friends of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday frowned at some people’s futile attempt to link the Vice President to the horrendous collapse of the 21-Storey Building in Ikoyi, tongue lashing the mischief-makers for seeking to feather their nest from others’ painful deaths.
The friends and associates of the Vice President were particularly miffed that at a point when many were mourning a sad development that consumed several lives, a few, like the proverbial vultures, seeking rotten meat off the dead, felt it was the best time to play dirty politics, by targeting a focused, humble, diligent, highly revered leader.
Consequently, the friends and associates of the Vice President, in a statement issued by Richard Akinnola counseled the mischief-makers to investigate their facts, and refrain from blabbing, because Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was not in any way, linkable, to the collapsed structure.
“It is most unfortunate that at a time when people are mourning over the collapse of the Ikoyi building and the loss of several lives in the most unfortunate circumstances, some mischief makers are trying to score cheap political goals and use this very sad situation to tarnish the name and image of our hardworking and humble Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
“Social media has suddenly become awash with information trying to link the VP directly or indirectly to the collapsed structure.
“Some stories say the developer, Mr Femi Osibiona is a front for some big guns in Government, others directly say the land is owned by the VP, whilst others make a veiled connection to the Governor of Lagos.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for the sake of those who may be misled by the spurious and totally unfounded statements, we as concerned colleagues and friends of the VP wish to make it clear that the VP has never been involved, neither does he have any ownership interest in the developers Company or business.
“The facts can be easily verified from the Corporate Affairs Commission or land registry which the malicious writers have failed to check or show a connection between the VP and the collapsed building.
“We commiserate with the families of those who have lost lives and limbs as well as those still in agony of not knowing what the fate of those beneath the rubles in this most unfortunate incident.
We urge that as Nigerians, we should show more compassion and empathy to grieving compatriots rather than attempting to score political goals through it”, the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, Rescuers on Thursday evening recovered and identified a body, strongly believed to be that of the Ikenne born property owner, Femi Osibona around 7 pm.
The body was identified by officials of the Ministry of Physical Planning. It was immediately evacuated by an ambulance.
Our Correspondent reports that about 40 dead bodies had so far been retrieved from the rubble as at Thursday evening.
Only 9 were so far rescued alive and rushed to the hospital.
More people are however believed to be still trapped in the rubble; one of them, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Mr Ola Ogunfuwa, in charge of the Living Water Parish in Ibafo, Ogun State said to be a subcontractor on-site.
The uncovering of the Property owner’s corpse at the site has, however, added another irony to the matter.
How does a young, determined, hardworking man cut a niche for himself as a foremost African property developer, create ‘mini- skyscrapers’ in London, South Africa and Nigeria; and allegedly, suddenly lower the standard in one particular instance.
Then, the day he decides to visit that particular one, the entire structure comes down totally upon him!
Does it sound like a mistake or a date with destiny? Or merely a simple case of the strong Samson, suddenly begging to die with the Philistines…?!
However, in another development, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande today washed clean his Boss, as he expressed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo pains and condolences to families of those affected by the multi-storey building collapse.
STATEMENT BY CHIEF MICHAEL ADE. OJO IN RESPONSE TO SAHARA REPORTERS NEWS PUBLICATION
It has come to my attention that a publication by the online news website, Sahara Reporters Is In circulation, claiming that I owned the land on which the high-rise building in lkoyi that collapsed earner this week was built. The story titled ‘Photo Proof: Osinbajo bought the lkoyi collapsed building’ published on November 4. 2021 also claimed that I sold the land to the Vice President. Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Shortly after he became Vice President. Both claims are outright falsehoods. I hereby state that I do not own and never held title to the said property. In addition, I did not sell any land to the Vice President at anytime whatsoever.
To be clear.
I own a property next to the said building. which I have not sold and do not intend to sell to anyone.
Chief Micheal Ade Ojo
(4th November 2021)
Captioned ‘VP has no interest whatsoever in said property, the State House Statement, debunked all allusions to some online reports that attempted to link the Vice President to the collapsed Ikoyi building.
The statement highlighted further stressed the validity of Vice President Osinbajo’s assets declaration form.
Indicated Laolu Akande:
“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, is saddened by the events that occurred in Lagos on Monday, 1st of November 2021, where a high-rise building under construction on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, collapsed.
He condoles with the families and relatives of all those who have died, were injured, or were affected in the collapse. Prof. Osinbajo considers this painful loss of lives a horrible tragedy.
“Also, the attention of the Vice President has been drawn to an obviously sponsored falsehood regarding the recently collapsed building published by Sahara Reporters on November 4th, 2021, to the effect that:
- The VP owns the land upon which the collapsed building in Ikoyi stood.
- That the said land was sold to him by Chief Michael Ade. Ojo, Chairman of Elizade Motors; and
- That the Vice President, at some point, intervened with the regulatory authorities in Lagos State to unseal the said property.
“Let it be made absolutely clear that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo does not own and has never owned the said land.
“He has also never been involved, in any shape or form, in the development of this or any other land since he became Vice President.
“At no time whatsoever did the VP buy this or any other piece of land from Chief Michael Ade. Ojo, or entered into any transaction for the sale of that land or any other piece of land from Chief Ade. Ojo or anyone for that matter.
“All property and assets owned by the Vice President have been publicly declared.
“Also, the Vice President has never spoken to the Governor of Lagos State or any other official of the State Government regarding the unsealing of the said building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, which subsequently collapsed.
“He has, indeed, never acted to influence any other regulatory action on the collapsed building, or any other building for that matter, in Lagos State.
“The Vice President restates categorically that he has no interest whatsoever, and has never had any interest, either legally or beneficially, in the land, the building or development.
“The wickedness and viciousness of a lie that seeks to utilise a tragedy where so many people have lost their lives, even as rescue efforts are ongoing, and in wanton disregard to the feelings and untold grief of their loved ones for political gain, reveals a dangerous desperation, as well as the heartlessness of the perpetrators of such despicable lies.
“Sahara Reporters were undoubtedly well rewarded for their criminal and inhumane conduct. Typical of a hatchet job and deliberately irresponsible journalism, the publication was not signed by anyone.
“The Vice President has referred this disgraceful publication to his lawyers for prompt legal action”, the Vice President’s image-maker concluded.