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Former MD of Lekki Gardens And Four Others In Court For Manslaughter

Richard Nyong, the former Managing Director of Lekki Gardens Limited, was on Monday in Lagos arraigned with four directors and three companies on multiple charges of involuntary manslaughter and failure to obtain necessary building permits in a collapsed building case.

Arraigned with Nyong at the Igbosere High Court were: Sola Olumofe; Odofin Henry Taiwo, the engineer who allegedly supervised the collapsed structures; Omolabake Mortune, and Omotilewa Oluwatosin Joseph. 

The companies were: Lekki Gardens Estate Limited, Get Too Rich Investment Limited (a.k.a. GT Rich Investment Limited), and HT Insight Solution Limited, which were represented by Nyong Robert and OdofinTaiwo respectively.

They all pleaded not guilty to the six counts against them.

Prosecuting, the Lagos State Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kazeem Adeniji, (SAN), told the court that all the accused persons except the second accused, Mr. Olomofe, had cooperated with the prosecution since they were arrested and charged before a Magistrate court.

Mr. Adeniji also told the court of the second accused’s bail application and said the prosecution had responded to it adding that bail was at the court's discretion.    

However, the lawyers to the other accused persons urged the court to allow them to continue on the bail earlier granted them by either the Magistrate court or the Nigerian Police.

But G. M. O. Oguntade (SAN), representing Mr. Olumofe, pleaded with the court to also allow his client to enjoy the same bail conditions granted to the other accused persons. 

Ruling on the submissions of both the prosecution and defense teams, the presiding judge, Justice Cybil Nwaka, allowed the first, third, four, five, six, seven and eight accused persons to continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted them, but order them to deposit their passports with the court's Deputy Chief Registrar within 24 hours.

In admitting Mr. Olumofe to bail, she said, “The second accused is granted bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties who are gainfully employed in government establishment and his documentation to be verified by the court's Deputy Chief Registrar.”

Adjoining till October 26 for trial, Justice Nwaka ordered that Mr. Olumofe be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions.

Lagos State government in charge number LD/3808c/2017 filed before the court alleged that the defendants failed to obtain building permits and other building approvals, contrary to section 75(1) of the Urban and Regional Planning And Development Law, CH. U2, Vol. 10 of Lagos State, 2015, when between August 2014 and March 2016, at house H15, Horizon 1 Extension, Ikate Elegunshi, in Lagos, they commenced construction and completion of a six-story building.

They are also under the same law accused of committing involuntary manslaughter, with gross negligence and or reckless disregard for human life,leading to the death of Williams Akpati, KazeemIlesanmi, Raphael Ezeh, Saminu Umarand Sunday Ezeh.


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