Fresh facts have emerged over the circumstances that led to the unfortunate death of an unidentified artisan reported to have died while effecting some repairs in some parts of a building situated at No 40 Diya Street, in the Gbagada area of Lagos State, Nigeria.
The news of the unfortunate accident and eventual demise of the artisan later identified as Shehu-Tijani Atepasile was reported in December 2021.
According to the reports, 48 years old Shehu-Tijani was contacted on December 6, 2021, by one Barrister Lanre Okunade, resident in the said building to carry out some repairs on a leaky water tank positioned on top of the building. Unfortunately, that particular job would be his last as he was reported to have slipped from the top of the water tank and fell heavily to the ground thereby sustaining grave injuries to his head and other parts of his body. The artisan – a father of four children, died, as a result, the following day.
One of the Landlords of the building, Mrs Mojisola Adebayo, revealed that there hitherto had been serious concern over the terrible state of the said building. “The property, built since 1984, is old and hence needs urgent repairs based on the advice from Material Testing Agency and Environmental Agency Lagos State. Residents were advised to move out in other to allow full repairs on the structure. But, all the occupants except the defiant Barrister Lanre Okunade reportedly parked out of the building. Lanre was said to have engaged the property owner in legal scuffle using every means within his profession to prevent his ejection from the apartment and thereby hindering planned renovations.”
Speaking to journalists on the incident, Mojisola stated that “most of the material in the building is bad, water tank up cannot hold water anymore, it leaks seriously and all the water pipes connected to all apartments are rusty and busted.
“Some apartments and shops are now flooded and leaking with water and yet the lawyer continues to pump water in the house. She said.
Mrs Theresa, a community resident, blamed the defiant occupant for disobeying all forewarnings about the said property and jeopardizing the life of the ill-fated artisan. She said, “what happened in that house is quite unfortunate but preventable. Merely looking at that property, one would easily notice the terrible state it is in. If care is not taken, we might be hearing another case of building collapse.”
“I think that occupant (Lanre Okunade) should be held responsible for the death of the artisan because he knew the state of the house yet he engaged that innocent man to work there.”
Mr John Adewale, also a community resident, blamed the tenant – Lanre for the ill-fated occurrence. In his words, “this is a clear case of negligence and wickedness. Why would any person ignore all expert’s warnings and still go-ahead to carry out repairs on a decaying structure without obtaining proper approvals?”
“This is indeed a sad development that the police needs to thoroughly investigate.” He added.
StarMedia Renaissance learnt the accident occurred at exactly 4 pm, but the victim was only admitted at Lagos University Teaching Hospital at 10 pm after being rejected at four different hospitals due to the severity of the injuries sustained and lack of space. He gave up the ghost at about 3 am the following day.
According to sources who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, “A proper medical attention was not given to the deceased. Even while at Luth, he was not attended to until around 1:30 am. He (Shehu-Tijani Atepasile) was moaning all through due to severe pains coupled with the massive wound on his head, yet no one attended to him on time. To make matters worse, the victim was not allotted any bed space nor registered at the hospital several hours after being brought in.”
“The said occupant – Lanre Okunade, who engaged him in the first place did not even help matters at all as he was seen sitting in his car outside the medical facility throughout the ordeal while his wife, whom we heard is an optician, was seen administering drugs on Shehu-Tijani.”
Speaking to our correspondence, Mr Emmanuel, a security man keeping watch over the property, revealed that immediately after the incident, he had to carry the victim on his shoulder to a nearby hospital before the lawyer who engaged his service later came to join us there. “It was later I learnt that the artisan had given up the ghost.” He said.
“Mr Lanre called me later after the sad news that I should not give details of the accident to anybody. The reason he said that I don’t know, but all I know is I will always say my part of the story without mincing words.” He added.
Efforts to reach Mr Lanre Okunade on phone was not successful at the time of filing this report.