Synagogue building collapse: Professional builders fault T.B Joshua’s ‘strange aircraft’ theory

Synagogue Building collapse

Professional builders in Lagos have faulted the claims by Temitope Joshua, founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, that a “strange aircraft” that had hovered several times over a building in the premises caused its collapse.

A five-storey building inside the church’s premises in Ikotun, Lagos, collapsed on September 12 as three additional floors were being added to the original two-storey structure.

Eighty-six dead bodies – although several more are feared dead – were recovered from the rubble and 131 rescued, according to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.

Although investigations are still ongoing, NEMA had suggested that the extra floors being added to the building could be a factor in the incident.

But Mr. Joshua, popularly known as T.B. Joshua, citing video footages from the church’s Closed Circuit Television, CCTV, had blamed the incident on a “strange aircraft” that flew several times over the building before it collapsed.

Several church members who survived the incident have also continued to toe Mr. Joshua’s line of argument, dismissing suggestions that a structural default could have caused the incident.

All the survivors spoke after Mr. Joshua had propounded his strange aircraft theory.

Shadrack Mamzini, who took a photograph of the aircraft, said that he initially worried that the aircraft was flying too low for the building.

“By the time the incident happened, there was a lot of talks on it, that maybe the structure was poor… Until the man of God revealed what really happened that I went back to check my photos, all the photos I had taken,” Mr. Mamzini, a South African national, told Emmanuel TV, the church’s TV arm.

Taiwo Temitayo, who said he was trapped under the rubble for 28 hours, described the building collapse as a “demonic attack.”

“One thing I’m 100 percent certain of is that, because I don’t want to start naming things, it wasn’t a building collapse because this was a building that was meant to last for generations,” Mr. Temitayo, 28, told journalists in an interview arranged by the church.

But several professional builders interviewed by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday said that an aircraft hovering above a building cannot lead to its collapse.

“That is not the only structure within that area and I’m sure the aircraft will not be on that their particular one for long, it must have been hovering around,” said Asimiyu Bashir, Chairman of Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Building.

“Last year, when I was coming back from Benue State or so, I got to Lagos and we could not come down. For over one hour we were hovering around, how many buildings collapsed? And we were looking at the top of buildings the level at which that aircraft came close to the building. I don’t think it’s a possibility,” Mr. Bashir added.

Another professional, Adekemi Okusaga, said that she had never heard where a building collapsed because of an aircraft hovering above it.

“The first question that we want to ask is, they should show us the approval plan,” said Mrs. Okusaga of the Building Collapse-prevention Guild, BCG, a group that aims to tackle building collapse in Lagos.

“Who is the structural engineer? Who is the engineer that supervised the construction. If they are able to give us a clue to all those answers, then we know where we are going,” she added.

‘No approval plan, no insurance’

Last week, the Lagos State government stated that the collapsed building had no approval plan for its construction.

Mr. Bashir said that his association was not also carried along in the project.

“In Lagos State, for any building approval a builder must be involved, and there is a particular form, they call it Form C, that a builder should sign,” Mr. Bashir said.

“Up till today, none of my members in Lagos State have come out to say he signed Form C for that project. Builders are not involved in that and it is a must that they must be involved in things like that,” he added.

Mr. Bashir said that no insurance company had also come forward to declare that it insured the property, since the incident occurred.

“In Lagos State, there is a gazette, any building above two floors must have insurance (cover) on that particular project. No insurance company has come out to say he insured that building.

“People said the approval was buried when that collapsed happened. If none of my members, a registered builder in Lagos State, has come out to say he signed that Form C. No insurance company has laid claims that it insured that building, then something must have gone wrong.

“A committee has been set up by the Lagos State government, they are still working, I don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of the committee,”he added.

A day after the church building collapsed, Mrs. Okusaga said that her organization, which works with artisans as well as professionals, invited all its members to find out those working on the project.

“We brought in our artisans, none of them could tell us that he was the one that did. We couldn’t get anyone to point who did the job,” Mrs. Okusaga said.

“The question now is, who are the professionals that did the job? We are not contesting that they have professionals or that they can’t come from anywhere, but show us the professionals, that is the question.

“In a situation where you are asking for facts and figures and you are not able to get it, the rest is a guess,” she added.

Mrs. Okusaga also said they approached the church to get information on the incident.

“Our own responsibility is to go there, take samples of the material used, which we did; ask for who and who are the professionals on the job, which we did; ask for who and who are the artisans on the job, which we did,” she said.

“We are still expecting answers to our questions,” she added.


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  • bashow

    From what I saw from the video clip, the way the building collapsed looks so much like a controlled demolition. Normally, buildings don’t collapse directly into themselves without signs of resistance from the center. The clip shows the building coming down in a free fall. This had me thinking if it was all a ritual! I hope I’m wrong but authorities seriously need to look into this.

    • GodBlessNigeria

      My broda… Na so me ma see am, I dont know if na ritual, but it not any plane joor

      • genesis

        a so-called man of god who sees things for others but cannot foresee the collapse of this building. he is a murderer and must be punished. he is fake. how can one add 3 more stories on a 2 story building? he is a greedy man who cares only for himself. a he-goat he is

        • Nasir

          your father there, you are talking like a mad man,

  • the_adviser

    No plan, no approval, the man should be charged with involuntary manslaughter. He should know the concertina effect of the collapse shows the vertical pillars are weak and a shoddy job is being done. Housing people in an uncompleted building project is greed in the extreme. Joshua seems not to care for his followers.

    • ogechukwu Amadi

      He cares!!

  • emmanuel

    Joshua is bound for hell fire if he does not repent.

    He knew that Lagos State would seize the property, so he sold a lie – big one for that matter (man of God or god?).

    I am sure a lot of bribes has passed under the bridge to manage the crises.

  • Newsday

    South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance [DA} party has written the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (Maite Nkoana-Mashabane) urging her to assist South African victims of the church building collapse sue Pastor T.B Joshua.

  • King Carlos

    It’s so embarrassing that this issue will turn to a back and forth argument, when an in depth investigation can lift the veil off the matter. I trust Fashola to take action.

  • Gideon Orkar

    Building collapsed because of hovering plane…was the structure built with dominoes?

  • Usman

    except if the building were paper work, that is when such a thing could happen, it is a simple case of equilibrium distortion and he ought to be charged for that

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  • ferdyokwu

    If Rev. King was sentenced to death for murder of one member of his congregation, the weight on TBJ if found responsible for so many deaths …………………!

  • Mr. Abdin

    Well done Mr. Louis yes change has come.

  • Daniel

    Too early to be excited.

  • Pause

    Semi-literates abound in journalism or opinion writers these days; or maybe this writer is a sponsored write or card-carrying member of APC.

    STEALING GEJ’s ACCOMPLISHMENTS is a proof that APC has no clues what they plan to do with governance….

    APC should be better get to work than STEALING the past admin’s accomplishments. REFINERIES TAM was GEJ’s accomplishment. ELECTRICITY improvement is in the EYE of he BEHOLDER. There are millions of Nigerians who pay BILLS but no light is given to them. Still the little improvement we observe in electricity is DUEE TO GEJ’s privatization of the power sector.

    • absam777

      You sound more like the semi-literate. If GEJ actually did all that you said, he would have won the election. Also, he would not be begging for soft landing in the war against corruption.

      • Pause

        NITWIT….talking of “educated” semi-literacy…..losing elections does not mean a leader does not have accomplishments.

        In the fucked-up minds of GEJ ACCOMPLISHMENT THIEVES like you, “PROPHET” MUHAMMED BUHARI FIXED the refineries and electricity while studying the “handover note” from GEJ.


    • Andrew Olayinka

      I really feel very sorry for you ‘pause’. Assuming that GEJ was the architect of all these sudden improvement in the current spate of infrastructural development, how come he lost the election even with the massive looting of the treasury to fund his re-election by all the cabals and the marauders he had in his arsenal of election rigging mechanism. Mister ‘pause’ the change is here and you can join in or check out of the new and improving NIGERIA. Sai Baba Buhari. If you pause don’t like it go and hug a the rolling zamboni.

      • Pause

        there we go again… everyone who reminds GEJ ACCOMPLISHMENT THIEVES of their transgressions must now hug a transformer….

        In the fucked-up minds of GEJ ACCOMPLISHMENT THIEVES like you, “PROPHET” MUHAMMED BUHARI FIXED the refineries and electricity while studying the “handover note” from GEJ.


        I think that more PSYCHIATRIC CENTERS should be built for Yariba slaves because YABA & ARO are clearly not capturing the “educated semi-literates and nitwits parading themselves on our streets.

        Need I add that Yariba slaves’ cohorts like almajiris and Islamists returning from Sambisa can benefit from such PSYCHIATRIC CENTERS too.

        What I know for a fact is that no nation can move on with so many “educated” semi-literates in its midst. It is scary to read what coms from their brain….

  • Du Covenant

    True leaders are born not made but, we Nigerians must change our attitude towards everything we do. As a country we blessed with so much, we only need to protect all that we have and use our resources judiciously the rest will be history and the majority of us will live a better life. Nigeria MUST not import a litre of refined product from no one if we want to be taken seriously and be respected by other nations. Our psychology has been so twisted about foreign things that I recently learned it is even a pride to die abroad?. What a pity….we must support Buhari to complete what he started in the 80s, he knows what is wrong with Nigeria and we should rally behind him.