Court to rule July 8 in Synagogue Church building collapse inquest
THE coroner court conducting investigation into the collapse of a building belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) has fixed July 8, 2015 to deliver judgment in the inquest.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Oyetade Komolafe, fixed the date yesterday after parties made their final submission on the matter before the court.
It would be recalled that on September 12, 2014, a six-storey building within the premises of the church collapsed, which left 116 persons dead.
Lagos State government therefore set up an inquest to ascertain the cause of the building collapse, identify the victims and how they died.
Founder and Senior Pastor of the church, Prophet Temitope Joshua, had initially linked the incident to a strange aircraft hovering above the building shortly before the structure collapsed. The CCTV video was subsequently released by the church on social media platforms showing the plane allegedly hovering over the building before it crumbled.
Various organisations testified as witnesses during the proceedings, which lasted about eight months, giving various reasons why the building collapsed.
T.B Joshua refused to appear before the inquest insisting that he was not under any obligation to testify before the coroner. Although an appeal he filed before a Lagos High Court was overruled, he still did not appear before the panel.
At yesterday’s proceedings, counsel to SCOAN, Mr. Olalekan Ojo in his final address insisted that external forces remain the cause of the tragedy.
He referred to the testimony of a 37 year-old graduate of Chemistry from the University of Maiduguri, Mr. Biedomo Iguniewe, who suggested that the building might have collapsed due to infrasonic radiation.
Ojo further argued on the testimony of another witness that the non-existence of a building plan as stated by the Lagos State Government has nothing to do with the structure of the building, which he maintained was constructed according to standard.
Ojo submitted that the contract for the collapsed building was awarded to competent engineers and if anyone must be questioned for the tragedy, it should be the engineers and not the Synagogue Church.
He, therefore, admonished the Lagos State Government to take appropriate steps to regularise the building construction and approval applications shown to be pending with the relevant state agencies.
After listening to all the counsel, Magistrate Komolafe thanked everyone who helped the inquest to arrive at a just judgment.
He thereafter adjourned judgment till July 8, 2015.