The Synagogue Church of All Nations has been indicted over the death of 116 resulting from the collapse of the church guest house last year.. This judgement given by the coroner inquest set up by the Lagos state government has blamed the collapse on negligence of the church,not the purported aircraft hovering above it..
In his verdict on Wednesday, coroner Oyetade Komolafe, a chief magistrate, ordered the prosecution of the contractors who constructed the collapsed building.
Synagogue Church of All Nations be prosecuted by the relevant authorities for not possessing necessary building permits.,” The relevant authority should carry out a detailed ‘fitness for habitation test’ on all the structures/buildings within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, situated at Segun Irefin St, Ikotun, Lagos State,” Komolafe said.
He also recommended that the architect, Oladele Ogundeji, and the contractor, Akinpela Fatiregun, of Hardrock Construction, be tried by a relevant authority for criminal negligence.
Komolafe, who read out the names, sexes, ages and addresses of the victims, said 116 people died as a result of the collapsed building, adding that six of them were yet to be identified by medical examiners.He said 85 victims were South Africans, 22 Nigerians, two Beninoise and one Togolese.
“It comprises 60 males and 56 females; among the male victims was a child of about six years.“The varying injuries seen on the victims are consistent with blunt-force trauma that would normally be sustained from a collapsed building’.”
Komolafe also dismissed the suggestions of the church and its witnesses that the collapse was caused by a mysterious aircraft.
“The aircraft was 103 floors above the collapsed building. There was no direct hovering of the aircraft above the building, and people could be seen going about their normal business activities when the incident occurred,” the coroner said.
On the theory by weapons expert Biedomo Iguniwei that the building may have collapsed due to infrasonic radiation.He said there was no carbon monoxide found in the lungs of any of the victims to have suggested there was a bomb or fire incident,adding that the reports by the Nigerian Building and Research Institute, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria and the Building Collapse Prevention Guild all pointed to a structural defect in the construction of the building.
The coroner also recommended the transfer of CSP Haruna Alaba, the divisional police officer, from Ikotun police station for not fulfilling his responsibilities.
Reacting to the judgement, Mr Olalekan Ojo, counsel to the church and Pastor T. B. Joshua said
“Yes, the court said the church building collapsed due to structural failure but never said the church was guilty of any offence. So, with the situation I never doubt my client may challenge the verdict of the coroner.”