One killed, four trapped in Awka building collapse

One person was killed on Wednesday in Awka, Anambra State when a multi-storey building under construction collapsed on some of the workers.

But rescue operators at the scene were depending on divine intervention to save the lives of four other people who were still trapped in the rubble of the building located off the Miracle Junction along the Ifite – UNIZIK road

No major rescue operation was noticed at the scene of the incident as at 6.30pm while students, who live around the area, laboured with diggers and spades to remove the rubble to rescue the trapped workers.

Access to the area was very difficult as the road leading to the area was flooded, letting only people on foot to the site.

Though men of the Federal Road Safety Corps and commercial motorcycle riders rushed to the scene to help in the rescue operations, they were helpless without the heavy equipment.

The Anambra State Emergency Management Agency was not at the scene neither were men of other state emergency agencies.

The Executive Director of Anambra SEMA, Dr. Austin Ijezie, did not pick up the several calls our correspondent put through to his mobile telephone.

Efforts by students to get a major construction company in the city to come for the rescue operation failed as the company refused to release their equipment to assist with the rescue operation.

Meanwhile, an Onitsha Magistrate’s’ Court, presided over by Mrs Vivian Udedike, on Wednesday granted bail to 50 members of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.

The MASSOB members were arrested on June 5 by a combined team of policemen and soldiers, who raided their offices in Onitsha and its environs.

They were arraigned on a two counts charge of conspiracy and unlawful possession of fire arms.

Mr. Okechukwu Odimgbe, counsel for MASSOB, prayed the court to grant bail to the accused as their offences were frivolous, null and void, arguing that they were not arrested in the scene of any incident.

Earlier, Mr Tunde Odeola, the Prosecuting Officer, prayed the court not to grant bail to the accused as their offences were serious and would attract years of imprisonment if convicted.

Granting bail, Udedike said that each of the accused should be bailed on the condition of bringing a surety who would have a national identity card and N100,000.

She adjourned hearing on the matter to July 18.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Uchenna Madu, MASSOB Director of Information, told newsmen that the police had not arraigned the injured MASSOB members in court.

“We are demanding that some of our members injured should be arraigned also in the interest of justice,’’ Madu said.

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