Building Collapse: Synagogue Church may have violated Lagos laws – Official

There is no evidence that the Synagogue of All Nations secured regulatory approval to increase the number of floors on its collapsed building, an official has said.

The building was initially a two-storey building used by the church as some form of guest house for visitors. It was being raised to a five-storey building before it collapsed on Friday killing at least 40 people as at Sunday evening.

On Sunday, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olutoyin Ayinde, told reporters at the scene that though investigation is still on-going, there is no proof that the church obtained a permit to add additional structures to existing ones.

“We have no proof that there is a permit,” he said. “We’ve asked the engineering team to meet us and for about two hours now no member of the engineering team has come because we also have questions to ask.”

The commissioner also hinted that the building was not professionally constructed.

“Even if the building doesn’t have approval, it ought to be built professionally,” he said. “We’ve asked for their team and we hope in the course of the week they’d get to us.”

Mr. Ayinde said there is no plan to seal any building in the church premises until investigation into the cause of the collapse has been concluded.

He said he sympathized with those that were injured or lost loved ones in the collapsed building and described the event as sad.

“It’s a sad situation lives have been lost, some lives have been saved. We use this opportunity to express our sympathy,” he said.

The commissioner said the state government would decide on the fate of those affected by the mishap when the total number of victims is known.

“We don’t know how many people are involved. When a final inventory has been done, the ministry of special duties would take a decision on what to do,” he said.

Increasing casualty

By Sunday evening, the number of dead rose officially to 40  as two  more bodies were pulled from the debris of the collapsed building.

The Public Relations Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, also confirmed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

Mr. Farinloye said that 80 per cent of the 130 trapped people that were rescued from the collapsed building  were women.

He said two female children, aged four and eight years, were among those rescued.

However, the chances of more bodies being found underneath the rubbles remained high as stench of decomposing flesh pervaded the site.

Rescue and excavation work continued. A PREMIUM TIMES reporter saw excavators, aided by workers with jackhammers, still clearing the debris of the collapsed building.

Fashola visits

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, arrived at the scene to inspect the collapsed building and rescue efforts at about 2:50 p.m. He was later led into a closed-door meeting with the founder of the church, Temitope (T.B.) Joshua.

While walking to Mr Joshua’s office, the governor observed two floors had been newly added to a section of the church’s main building. He asked Mr Joshua if the church obtained a permit to add the additional floors. Mr Joshua mumbled something incoherently and led the governor away.

Reporters who waited at the entrance of the office hoping to be addressed by the governor were sold a dummy as the governor left Mr Joshua’s office through a back door and briskly rushed into a car in his waiting convoy, then sped off.

Dead Martyrs

Earlier, during church service, Mr. Joshua restated his claim that the building might have been sabotaged.

He played what he claimed was CCTV footage showing a “mysterious aircraft hovering above the building moments before it collapsed.”

PREMIUM TIMES had reported the cleric’s claim that unnamed persons might have tried to kill him and destroy his ministry.

Mr. Joshua told his congregation that those who died were martyrs.


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  • Wähala

    Martyrs abi? for renting rooms in his illegal skyscraper and getting killed for patronizing him. Enough of this nonsense! Since the unfortunate incident happened, I’ve railed about “illegal upgrade” done to a 2-story building without in violation city building codes, TB Joshua must be arrested immediately wile investigations continue since I was certain he “re-modeled” his motel without proper permission. Gov. Fashola ati Commissioner for Physical Planning must use all the physical strength in them to tow Joshua to nearest DPO for preliminary charges of: Manslaughter, reckless endangerment, violation of building codes, tax evasion, operating an illegal hotel, violation of immigration laws… and if fake pastors are given licenses to preach, TB Joshua must have his suspended for abusing it and lying with the Bible in one hand. Oloshi ni… fake baztard!

    • Otile

      Are you no longer a true Muslim? Remember you cannot live Islam without your master Sultan placing fatwa on your head. Abokina, look before you leap.

  • the truth

    It is quite painful for people to lose their lives like this.but if the truth be told the commissioner must have known prior to this that construction was going on in this premise.y must disaster strike before we do the right thing.nevertheless thorough investigation must be carried out and anybody found guilty should dance to the law.wish the families the fortitude to bear this painful loss

    • T.B. Joshua raised the dead.

      Nigerians and West Africans called for ZMapp and other experimental drugs.

      Why have Nigerians and West Africans refused to call on their ANOINTED ONES
      (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients?

  • Mosaku 147

    If this was done by an ordinary Mr or Alhaji,I am certain they would be in custody by now. LASG should as a matter of urgency quarantine all those involved in this rescue operation because I suspect TB must have sneaked in some Ebola patient into that place. Bottom line be say,na God wan expose am.
    To the dead,I pray their souls find rest in the bossom of The Lord.Amen.

    • T.B. Joshua raises the dead.

      Nigerians and West Africans called for ZMapp and other experimental drugs.

      Why have Nigerians and West Africans refused to call on their ANOINTED ONES
      (e.g., Adeboye) to start laying hands on Ebola patients?

  • jack meofferman

    TB JOSHUA TOLD CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR TO LEAVE OUT STEEL IN THE BUILDING.TB JOSHUA NEEDS TO BE ARRESTED AND BEATEN NOW..TB JOSHUA IS ALSO RAPING YOUNG NIGERIAN STREET CHILDREN..ARREST HIM NOW AND BEAT HIM TILL HE BLEEDS LIKE THE NILE FLOWS

    • Chukwudi Obika

      MR U NEED TO PAY A VISIT TO MENTAL CARE CENTER COS UR UPSTAIRS IS SICK.

  • ed

    Fashola failure to address the people of Lagos on the Site is troubling. TB JOSHUA’S. Influence and connection shouldn’t protect him from accountability to the Nigeria and Lagos State law.

    • Sahara

      In time past, did the governor address the state on all collapsed building?

      • ed

        40 people were reportedly lost in the disaster. The head any government that value human life’s shouldn’t waist anytime before addressing and reassuring the good people of Lagos. . Nigeria leaders tend to see themselves as God almighty.
        Fashola should put a stop to the out of control addition in addition of already completed building period.

        • Sahara

          Nothing wrong with Fashola addressing Lagos people. The error is joining that with TB Joshua’s influence!