Residents of two other residential blocks at the Lagos Police barracks, Ikeja, have been ordered to quit the buildings.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, gave the order while monitoring the demolition of a collapsed building in the barracks. The other two blocks to be vacated, located adjacent the collapsed W block building, are blocks V and U.
Tragedy struck in the early hours of Sunday when the toilets and stairway of wing D of the block collapsed at about 4.00 a.m.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Authority, LASEMA, said that bodies of two dead men were recovered after the incident.
The victims were identified as one Mr. Danjuma, a police officer, and another male relative of Mr. Danjuma, whose identity is yet to be confirmed. Their bodies have since be deposited at the Mainland Hospital Mortuary, Yaba.
The General Manager of LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu, said the agency and other stakeholders commenced immediate demolition of the affected building under the directive of Mr. Owoseni.
Mr. Tiamiyu had earlier said that the collapsed building failed integrity test twice.
Investigations revealed that residents of the collapsed building had been served eviction notice on two occasions, but they refused to leave.
“They have been told to leave the building more than twice. Even, there was a time their doors were removed,” a resident of the barracks who declined to have his name in print, said.
“We thought they would leave but they didn’t leave. I think that was when government should have come for this demolition exercise.”
Efforts to speak with other residents of the building proved abortive as they refused to talk to journalists.
Meanwhile, checks revealed that many of the buildings in the barracks are in decrepit conditions.
Some of the buildings showed visible cracks and signs of weakness.
A police officer who spoke with our correspondent but craved anonymity said that most of the buildings are in a mess. He pleaded with the media to help publicise the terrible state of the police buildings.
“As you can see by yourself, most of the buildings here are in terrible conditions. Our living condition here is poor,” he said.
Residents of the two other buildings marked for demolition have been served two-weeks evacuation notice.´
The spokesperson of the Lagos Police, Dolapo Badmus, could not be reached to comment on the deadline given to the residents or whether an alternative had been provided for them.