The redevelopment of the Igbosere High Court in Lagos, which is the oldest courthouse in Nigeria, has recorded “significant progress.”
The project director of the Rebuild Lagos Trust Fund (RLTF), Olujimi Hotonu, said this to journalists on Monday during a tour around the construction site.
The iconic colonial vestige was razed by rampaging hoodlums in the unrest that trailed the EndSARS protest in October 2020.
The trust fund was set up to seek donations to rebuild and restore all state’s assets torched in the unrest.
The high court dates back to the period when Lagos was a British protectorate.
It was formerly known as the Supreme Court until the relocation of the Federal Capital Territory to Abuja when the court reverted to a State High Court.
According to Mr Hotonu, an engineer, the briefing was done to keep the public abreast of the ongoing redevelopment of the courthouse.
He said that the construction site, which is 18,000 square meters, is in two phases.
The first phase of the reconstruction of the high court of Lagos, Igbosere is the restoration of the colonial building.
The building will comprise a modern court complex, auditorium, administrative offices, parking facilities, and other ancillary facilities.
“The first phase of the reconstruction is progressing as planned and RLTF is pleased to announce the completion of the basement level and the foundation works of the restoration of the old colonial building which is at 75% completion,” Mr Hotonu said.
“This milestone marks a significant step towards completing this iconic project, which will serve as a symbol of justice and fairness for the people of Lagos.”
The project manager said the first phase will be completed by May 2024.
He noted that after the fire incident, they had “strong recommendation” to pull down the CJ’s Quarters because it failed an integrity test.
The phase two will be a multi-storey (11 floors) structure with more court, offices and three floors will be dedicated for parking, the project manager said.
During a tour around the construction site, the consultant project manager, Adeola Akande, told journalists that the ‘Babalakin Structure’ will be demolished because it failed the integrity test.
“The site will be replaced by the 11 storey structure,” he said.
Mr Hotonu explained that the external facade inclusive of the relics will be maintained.
He noted that the interior of the colonial building will be “restored with major interior upgrades to meet modern-day design requirements.”
While answering questions from journalists, the engineer said that the first phase cost “roughly N8 billion (structure, equipment furnishing).”
He said the second phase will be completed within 48 months after the completion of the first phase.
He added that they got donations from law firms, government, international organisations and well-meaning Nigerians.
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