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Mother of dead sisters denies being alerted

November 23, 2012 by Kunle Falayi

Mrs. Adebisi Coker, mother of Toyin and Bukky, who were killed in the building collapse at Jakande Low Cost Housing Estate, Isolo, Lagos on Wednesday has been discharged from Oja Health Centre where she was taken to for treatment after she was rescued from the debris of the building.

PUNCH Metro tracked her down on Thursday, but she was not aware that her two children had died.

An elder in the area, Mr. Michael Adegoke, had taken her in until her family members could be notified of the incident. He could not tell Coker about her children.

Some ‘good Samaritans’ had sent Coker some of her documents found in the debris. She was busy rummaging through the documents and searching for her money and ATM card, which she could not locate.

Our correspondent spoke with her. Excerpts:


Thank God for your life madam. Do you remember how the building collapsed?

How could I? I was in a ‘dreamland’ at the time. I did not even hear any sound. I just found myself in the hospital and I was told what happened. I have a bruise on my back and leg as you can see.


But I was told a man came to warn you before the collapse that you should leave the house. Do you remember that?

That is a lie. How can someone be kind enough to warn me that the building was about to collapse and I would still stay there? I was very concerned about the state of the building. I could not have remained there if I was warned that night.


Did you ever see any sign that the building was distressed?

Yes of course, that’s why I said I was concerned with the state of the building. Sometimes this year, I went to Lagos Building Investment Company to make a report that the other wing of the house was cracking. But you know government, nobody came to see it.


Can I ask how old you are?

I am 68 years old. I retired from Shell Petroleum 15 years ago. I bought the flat with part of my retirement benefit. The rest has gone into my children’s education.

What about your husband?

I have been a widow since 1995. I am from Ogun State.

Meanwhile, Adegoke, told our correspondent that efforts were being made to contact some family members of Coker.

He, however, said Toyin was not a doctor, contrary to the information some residents gave PUNCH Metro on Wednesday.

Adegoke said, “She and her sister read Education courses in the University of Lagos. In fact, I have been searching for a job for both sisters for a while.

“The two girls and their mother were very close to me. I have known the family for a while, they were very good people. Toyin and Bukky were her (Coker) only children.

“There was a time I secured a two-month part-time job for Toyin in a ministry. It’s a real tragedy. I only told her (Coker) the girls are still receiving treatment.

Adegoke said the bodies of the sisters had been deposited at the Isolo General Hospital morgue

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