BY ANAYO OKOLI
ABAKALIKI—NIGERIA Society of Engineers, NSE, Ebonyi State chapter yesterday said if it was discovered that the contractors and engineers of the collapsed building at Mater Miserecondia Hospital in Afikpo local government area of Ebonyi State, compromised standards, they would be prosecuted.
Chairman of the State Chapter of NSE, Engr. Nwali Etche, warned that they risked seven years imprisonment if found guilty of violating laid down standards in building construction.
According to him, preliminary reports from NSE suggested that the incident must have occurred due to poor quality work executed by the contractors.
It will be recalled that on June 20 at Mater Miserecondia Hospital in Afikpo, a two-storey building under construction collapsed, injuring seven persons who are still battling to survive
in the hospital.
He said: “We didn’t see anybody when we got there except the patients, both the hospital administrator and contractor bolted away. We gave the administrator up till close of work today (yesterday) to report to our office. We also asked him to bring along certain things like the design of the building, approval of work certificate and the contractor’s identity”.
“The NSE cannot blame anybody for the collapse until it has gotten the necessary data. If the collapse is due to natural disaster, then we can’t blame anybody but if it is
mechanical, then we will find out if it is the engineer’s fault or that of the contractor, supervisor or designer”.
The punishment varies, if you are an Engineer, you will be banned from practicing and goes in for seven years imprisonment. If it is the contractor’s fault, we will take him to court and if someone dies, it is live imprisonment.”