Synagogue Collapse Inquest: Building expert faults agency’s report

Synagogue Building collapse
Synagogue Building collapse

A witness who testified at the ongoing coroner inquest into the collapsed six-storey guest house belonging to Synagogue Church of All Nations, Joseph Folayan, on Wednesday dismissed the report of Lagos State Material Testing Agency which claimed the guest house collapsed due to defects in its foundation.

The agency had said in its Structural Integrity Test that the six-storey building collapsed as a result of a defective foundation.

Mr. Folayan, a geo-technical engineer, told the coroner headed by Magistrate Komolafe Oyetade that the soil under the foundation of the collapsed building did not fail.

He described the report as assumptions, and based his assertion on his 45 years experience as a geo-technical engineer.

“As a practising geo-technical engineer with over 45 years experience, it is my view that the soil under those foundation did not fail. The pad used in the construction did not constitute a failure”.

“Engineers in the country should sit up so as to forestall any further occurrence of building collapse. There is need to sanitise the engineering profession because it has been infiltrated,” he told the coroner.

The coroner admitted more exhibits at the session.

Documents, including the approval plan for the main auditorium of the church as well as a general survey of the entire complex, were tendered by the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olutoye Ayinde.

SCOAN’s council, Olamilekan Ojo, however, objected to the documents admission arguing that they were not of the collapsed building thus irrelevant to the inquest.

According to him, SCOAN’s position has always been that it was processing a permit for the building when the unfortunate incident occurred.

The coroner, however, maintained that the documents should be admitted as Exhibits 035 to 040.

The matter was adjourned till April 8 for further hearing.

The inquest was set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate the September 12, 2014 collapsed building which killed 116 people and left scores injured.

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