Anglican Church sets up panel on 5-storey Centenary Building collapse 

The Diocese on the Niger, Anglican Communion, owners of the five storey building which crashed in the wee hours of June 12,2024 has set up a high powered panel of professionals to criticality look into the unfortunate incident.

Tagged “Centenary Building”, the building was being undertaken by the Old Boys Association of the popular Denis Memorial Grammar School(DMGS) Onitsha.

This development was made public at the school premises by the Bishop on the Niger, Rt Rev Owens Nwokolo during a press conference today.

Nwokolo had visited the crash site alongside other Anglican bishops in Anambra State led by Archbishop Alexander Ibezim.

Thanking everyone for their supportive prayers, expression of love and encouragement, Bishop Nwokolo

alongside other 

Bishops announced a 9-member panel of successful and seasoned experts in building and estate development/managent sector round the country.

The panel was to be chaired by a judge of the Court of Appeal, Hon Justice Pete Obiora.

Others were Barrister Andy Obianwu, Architect Shed Onwuasoanya, Dr Azuka Onweluzor and Engr Ofodile Anaeto. Others include Architect Peter Okpala, Surveyor Samuel Akabogu, Engr Chukwunonso Igboka and Architect Kingsley Ibekwe. 

These eggheads, Nwokolo noted have versatile and deep knowledge/experience in the building/estate development sector. He charged them to bring these years of experience to bear in this assignment.

Flanked by Archbishop Ibezim, Bishops Ephraim Ikeakor of Amichi Diocese, Bishop Ndubisi of Nnewi who incidentally was an old boy of DMGS: as well as Bishop Obiora Uzochukwu of Mbammili Diocese, Nwokolo expressed the curiosity of the Church to unravel the mystery behind the unexpected collapse of the building.

The Bishop who was visibly touched by the tragedy noted that he takes consolation in the fact that going by the enormity of the destruction it was in deed miraculous that the casualty was minimal. He urged everyone to join the Church in Thanksgiving prayers to the Almighty God for taking away what would have been a big shame and embarrassment.

Quoting some Bible passages, Bishop Nwokolo noted that “this school is the pride of the Anglican Church family nationwide, and has really helped in the growth and development of this State,nation and humanity.”

The panel’s nine(9)point terms of reference included, *to examine the administrative and technical processes followed in the construction to ensure that proper procedures were followed.

*To study the building plan to ensure that they meet the expected standard.

*To enquire whether approval was sought and obtained from the approving authority for the building to proceed.

*To enquire whether the Architectural design of the building was by a qualified Architect registered with the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria.

*To enquire whether the Structural Design was by a Structural Engineer Registered by COREN.

*To enquire whether the building was properly supervised during the actual construction of the project.

*To determine whether the materials (rods)used in the construction underwent a rigorous quality assurance process including testing by the Anambra State materials testing laboratory.

*To make effort to identify the reason/s for the collapse of the building.

*And to ask any other questions that would in their opinion assist in the task.

The panel was given 30 days within which to submit its report.

Nwokolo expressed the readiness of the Church to cooperate with any governmental or professional efforts to unravel why the building went down.

The Centenary Building which was sponsored by the Old Boys Association of the DMGS as their signature project for the celebration of the school’s 100 years next year collapsed at about 1am on June 12,2024.

So far, no reason has been adduced on why the building which was at the roofing stage suddenly came down completely.

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