Reigners Church Collapse: Family of Detained Person Calls for Arrest of Akan Weeks
The family of Anietie Augustine Ndarake, an Architect and member of the Reigners Bible Church whose building collapsed in Uyo on the 10th of December, 2016, has called for the immediate unconditional release of the detainee from police custody, and the arrest of the proprietor of the church, Mr. Akan Weeks.
Uwem Augustine Ndarake, elder brother of the detainee who led other members of the family to address a cross section of the media over the weekend, stated that Akan Weeks is the proprietor and founder of the church, and knows everything about the collapsed building.
Mr. Ndarake informed Journalists present that as a member of the church and a professional, his brother, Anietie, felt obligated to visit the site from time to time as a concerned and devoted member of the church.
“He was not contracted or paid to supervise any aspect of the construction work. He had no hand in the drawings, designs or worked at the site as one paid money to offer professional service. Apostle Akan Weeks controlled everything at the site. He paid persons to carry out jobs there, and we are aware that he personally paid people to remove the scaffold that held the weight of the ‘drum or fulcrum’ of the truss of the roof.
“It was after removing the scaffold on Friday evening from what we gathered that a crack was noticed on the wall. Why did he order the removal of the scaffold against advise, why did he keep threatening workers at the site to act against sound advice? We want Akan Weeks to release Anietie Augustine Ndarake immediately.”
The family called on the Federal Government to appoint coroners to conduct inquest into the building collapse, determine the number of persons who died, and also called on the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to be allowed to independently conduct their investigation and make their report known to the public.
Speaking further, Mr. Ndarake expressed deep worries over the state of health of his brother was has been denied administrative bail by the police.
The designers of the structure and the roof with others who influenced the work at the sight including Mr. Weeks the founder of the church were released after making statements to the police days after the incident while two persons have remained in police custody since 12th of December, 2016.
The two persons in police custody are Mr. Anietie Augustine Ndarake, the church member who is an Architect but had no contractual obligation to supervise the construction work of the building, and Mr. Idongesit White, the roof contractor who merely interpreted the design according to the specification of the structural design handed over to him.
In a related development, the civil society in Akwa Ibom State has inaugurated a seven-member committee to investigate the incident particularly as it affects the human rights of persons.
The civil society has called on the police to ensure that all those involved in anyway in the events leading up to the building collapse should be investigated and brought to book, to serve as “a deterrence against a possible re-occurrence of a disaster of this nature.”
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