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House of Horror:Landlord vanishes into thin air

Posted by The Port Harcourt Telegraph on 2005/07/07 | Views: 372 |

House of Horror:Landlord vanishes into thin air

The landlord of the collapsed building along Bank Road in Port Harcourt has vanished into thin air.

The landlord of the collapsed building along Bank Road in Port Harcourt has vanished into thin air.

The owner of the property whose identity is not yet known is wanted for his role in secretly constructing a high-rise building when an official ban has been placed on all such projects.

His phantom high-rise building came down like a pack of cards in the early hours of Saturday morning after fate played a hand.

More deaths:
The death toll has risen according to information.
Initial accounts showed that about seven persons lost their lives in the mishap. By Monday, the figure had climbed to eight.
But reports now put the number of the dead at about 18
There is no confirmation so far from the police and no indication that the police would officially disclose same, at least for now.

Quite strangely, the said building was going up within reach of government establishment but there was no information or attempt to halt the project in compliance of government's order until the mishap.
How the project could have gone on unnoticed, many people surveyed by the Telegraph say, remains a mystery.

Not too many poles away, there is the Ministry of Lands and Housing and its sister parastatal, the Housing and Property Development Authority.
Could it be that the staff of these outfits never got wind of what may have been going on?

The manhunt:
In the meantime, the search for the 'killer' landlord continues.
Governor Peter Odili had ordered the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Samuel Adetuyi to arrest whoever has the property even as his administration revoked the certificate of occupancy to the land.

But who is the police looking for? That is the question and newsmen who have besieged the force for information aren't getting much
Public Relations Officer of the Police, Juliet Ireju Barasua reached by the Telegraph said very little.

She confirmed that investigations were ongoing and urged members of the public with knowledge about the property and the owner to step forward.
From what the Telegraph has been able to piece together, the police swooped on an office believed to belong to the run away landlord..
We understand that some arrests were made. The total number of those who may have been arrested is not known.

Barasua refused to comment on the number and refused to confirm if indeed arrests have been made.

Said Barasua, "Police have their statutory roles and we are working within the framework allowed by law."

With the police saying nothing on the identity of the owner in question, the parallel information market is rather having a field day.
While some say the owner of the house is Yoruba, others say with a measure of near certainty that the owner hails from Edo State.

It is possible that the police might be playing safe, possible as some people are beginning to suggest that some one big, some one who may be close to government might be behind the project.

A credible source has told the Telegraph that the police initially received a tip-off from a well-placed informant.

The information suggested that a Kalabari high chief, Sampson Jack now Chief Georgewill might be the owner. That information eventually turned out untrue.
With investigations continuing, many are waiting to see if the police would arrest the owner in line with Governor Odili's directive.
The governor had said whoever was behind the project was evil and vowed that the said landlord would pay for every soul lost.

Test of will:
Public attention is now on the police with the people, including the media anxious to hear details.

It has been days since the governor gave the directive and many Rivers people definitely desire briefs on what is going on.

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