Anglican Diocese Launches Investigation into Onitsha Building Collapse

Okey Ikechukwu
3 Min Read
Anglican Diocese Launches Investigation into Onitsha Building Collapse

The Diocese of the Niger, Anglican Communion, has established a high-powered panel to investigate the collapse of its five-story “Centenary Building” at Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS) in Onitsha, Anambra State.

This announcement was made on Tuesday by the Bishop of the Niger, Rt. Rev. Owens Nwokolo, during a visit to the crash site with other Anglican bishops in Anambra, led by Archbishop Alexander Ibezim.

Expressing gratitude for the support, prayers, and love shown, Bishop Nwokolo revealed that the panel members are seasoned experts in building projects across the country.

The panel will be chaired by Justice Pete Obiora of the Court of Appeal. Other members include Andy Obianwu, Architect Shed Onwuasoanya, Dr. Azuka Onweluzor, Engr. Ofodile Anaeto, Architect Peter Okpala, Surveyor Samuel Akabogu, Engr. Chukwunonso Igboka, and Architect Kingsley Ibekwe.

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Bishop Nwokolo emphasized the panel’s extensive knowledge and experience in building and estate development, urging them to apply their expertise to this critical investigation. He noted the minimal casualties despite the destruction, attributing this to divine intervention.

Citing Bible passages for comfort, Bishop Nwokolo highlighted the significance of DMGS to the Anglican Church and its contributions to the growth and development of Anambra State, the nation, and humanity.

Justice Obiora’s nine-point terms of reference include examining the administrative and technical processes followed in the building’s construction to ensure proper procedures were adhered to, reviewing the building plan for compliance with standards, and verifying if necessary approvals were obtained from the relevant authorities.

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The panel will also determine whether the architectural and structural designs were handled by qualified professionals registered with the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria and COREN, respectively. Furthermore, they will assess the supervision of the construction process and the quality assurance of materials used, including testing by the Anambra State materials testing laboratory.

The panel has 30 days to submit its report. Bishop Nwokolo assured the Church’s full cooperation with any governmental or professional efforts to uncover the reasons behind the building’s collapse.

The Centenary Building, sponsored by the DMGS Old Boys Association as their signature project for the school’s 100th anniversary next year, collapsed at about 1 am on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. The cause of the collapse remains unknown.

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