General News of Friday, 9 November 2012
The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, says the owner of the six-storey Melcom Shopping Complex building, which caved in on Wednesday morning, has been given a grace period to regularize four other buildings within the catchment area or risk demolition.
The Melcom Shopping mall collapsed and trapped over a hundred people on Wednesday.
As at Friday morning, at least eighty people had been rescued from the debris while nine have been confirmed dead.
It is feared nine more people who were rescued may survive after being trapped for more than 30 hours in the rubble.
Addressing a press conference at the site on Friday, Dr. Vanderpuije said the collapsed building was commenced in 1997 and completed in 2008, insisting that the owner, Nana Boadu Ayeboafo, was not given the requisite permit to put up the building.
The Accra Mayor says apart from that building, there are four others within the same Achimota area owned by Nana Boadu which do not have the needed permits.
XYZ News’ Charity Bartels who was at the press conference reports that the Mayor has ordered occupants of one of the buildings nearby to vacate the premises within three days.
117,175 unauthorized buildings in Accra
The Mayor made a shocking revelation that there are 117,175 unauthorized buildings in the capital which the Assembly is currently grappling with.
He said in 2010, 81 buildings were regularized out of a total of 374 applications received. In 2011, 757 applications were received of which 106 were regularized.
255 applications were received in 2012 but only 18 buildings have been regularized.
The BNI on Thursday interrogated two individuals - AMA official in charge of Works and Buildings as well as the Deputy CEO of Melcom - suspected to have been negligent in the case. President Mahama has tasked the investigative bodies to ensure that those found culpable are dealt with.
Meanwhile, Nana Boadu Ayeboafo says he has genuine documents on his buildings and put the blame squarely on the doorsteps of the Melcom owners. He said he warned them against placing heavy duty gadgets on the top floors but his advice was not heeded.
Nana Boadu is expected to make himself available to the BNI later today (Friday).
The Minsiter of Local Government and Rural Development, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, has presented an amount of GHS20,000 and cartons of mineral water to the rescue team to facilitate their operations.