NewsReel 8/3/15 - Synagogue: Discrepancies Mar Witnesses' Testimonies

[ Masterweb Reports: Nosa Osazuwa reports ] – A consultant to the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory, Engineer Ayorinde Saheed Oluwaranti has told the Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe-led coroner’s inquest into the cause of death of persons in the collapsed building belonging to The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) that the building most likely collapsed due to structural defects from the foundation.
According to the engineer while undergoing cross-examination by counsel to the state government, Akingbolahan Adeniran, the foundation of the building was inadequate to carry a structure of that magnitude, although he admitted his conclusion was based on speculative assumption
He further claimed that the church failed to furnish him with necessary documents such as the architectural drawing, structural drawing, mechanical drawing and electrical drawing - materials needed to arrive at the possible cause of collapse.
However, experts rubbished his claims as mere theoretical hypothesis claiming that there was no way he would have arrived at the real cause of the building collapse without the requisite evidence, lending credence to insinuations in some quarters that the engineer and the counsel to the state allowed their interest towards the Lagos State government to influence their judgment.
It would be recalled that the building contractor, Engineer Akinbola Fatiregun and the structural engineer, M.O. Ogundeji last week corroborated the fact that all materials and due processes deployed in the construction of the building were in line with universal best practice and standard.
They both debunked all claims pointing to structural failure and instead suspected sabotage through controlled demolition, a position that was earlier taken by the Nigeria Police.
According to Engineer M.O. Ogundeji’s testimony last week, “On exposure of the foundation base (after the collapse), no cracks, no stress or any form of structural failure was noticed in the foundation. The foundation has 28 columns and by all means it is   n impossible for the structure to fall in one swoop if it is due to structural failure. Aside that, it didn’t tilt towards any side”. This position contradicts the position of the consultant to the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory, engineer Ayori Saheed Oluwaranti.
Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe adjourned hearing to Friday, 6th March, 2015 but directed some agencies such as the Building Collapse Prevention Guild, the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory, the Lagos State Ministry of Works and the National Airspace Management Agency to visit the site of the collapsed building on Thursday, 5th March, 2015 to carry out further tests. He insisted the case would be resolved and the verdict issued within the next two weeks.
Nosa Osazuwa ( Email: ), a Lagosian was present during the court proceedings.
*Photo Caption - Rescue workers Tuesday September 16, 2014 search for survivors in the rubble of Synagogue Church of All Nations  (SCOAN), Lagos- Nigeria collapsed building.  The building collapsed September 12, 2014.
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