Synagogue: Foundation Not Faulty, Engineer Insists


A geotechnical engineer, Dr. Joseph Ibikunle Folayan, has told the coroner that there is no evidence to prove the collapsed Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) building was caused by a faulty or failed foundation.

He argued that his investigations show the foundation has remained solid even months after the incident, an indication that the engineers followed due process.

While undergoing cross-examination by counsel to the Lagos State Government, Akingbolahan Adeniran, Engineer Afolayan was categorical in his submission.

‘The collapse of the building of the Synagogue Church did not occur as a result of foundation failure,’ he told the court. ‘There could not have been overloading because the strength of the soil, based on the exhibits before the court, can carry that load.’

He said as an expert, his findings at the site showed that the soil and the foundation of the ill-fated building met international standards.

Having made his submission, the engineer told the magistrate that his testimony was done in good faith and with due respect to the coroner court which he described as an honourable institution.

A mild drama then ensued in court when a consultant to the Lagos State Government, Engineer Victor Olusegun Oyenuga, who had been directed by the coroner to harmonize the three different calculations tendered by himself and two other engineers representing The SCOAN and the Lagos State Ministry of Works, showed up in court with an entirely different report belonging to the Building Collapse Prevention Guild of Nigeria (BCPGN).

The SCOAN lawyer declared that a conspiracy was at play since the consultant was not eligible to harmonize the three reports as his own report was among them, adding that someone independent should have been saddled with such a task.

He also stated it was surprising the consultant did not present the assignment given to him but came with a secret report which nobody had prior access to, including court officials. He insinuated the Lagos State engineer was working alongside the BCPGN, calling into question the neutrality of the reports contents.

Chief Magistrate Oyetade initially refused to adopt the report but later accepted it when it was presented by Mr Oreoluwa Fadayomi, a representative from the BCPGN, the body originally mandated to carry out a soil test at the site of the incident. Consequently, he adjourned proceedings till Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 for cross examination of the reports.

Meanwhile, more artistes from the Nigerian entertainment industry have continued to troop to the court in solidarity with Prophet T.B. Joshua whom they described as undeserving of all the harassment being meted out to him and his ministry since the inception of the inquest.

Most of them who spoke on conditions of anonymity hailed Joshua for his charitable and spiritual endeavors. Artistes such as Zule Zoo, Konga, African China, Baba Ijesha, Kelvin Ikeduba and other top celebrities were among those present.

Nosa Osazuwa – writer from Lagos, Nigeria


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