The President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Babagana Mohammed, has said it will prosecute any of its member found culpable in the collapsed eight-storey building that occurred last week at Yar’Adua Drive in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Mohammed who briefed journalists in Lagos, said already its team of engineers had done preliminary investigations and submitted their report to him, adding that it would be sent to the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) for further investigation.
According to him, “I have the report before me, we have seen some infractions. We are going to pass this report straight to COREN, so that further investigations will continue from the council. Am assuring that any of our members caught in this, will face the full wrath of the law.
“We have engineering standards and ethical issues that engineers know about and they must abide by the rules. Of recent, we have an amended Coren Act which empowers us to deal with infractions. Any erring member caught will be made to face a tribunal and we are going to delist such person from our membership and they will face the law. When building collapses, lives are lost. You need to hold somebody responsible for something, and that is how it works everywhere in the world.”
For a building to stand the test of time, the president said there must be an engineering design, adding that Nigerians should stop attributing such collapse to the usual cliche of ‘the Nigerian factor’.
“Before you graduate as an engineer, you pass through different stages of tests and interviews until you get certified to go and practice as an engineer, so there is nothing like the Nigerian factors like corruption. When you are found guilty, you will be delisted and face tribunal. We will still prosecute you. That is why the advocacy is becoming intense now, you cannot invest your money where you will not get anything. For instance, you cannot raise a 10-storey building without talking to an engineer. It does not make sense, because it’s an investment, “Mohammed stressed.