Adjourned trial on Synagogue’s collapsed building continues today
A Lagos High Court, presided over by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, yesterday adjourned continuation of trial in the collapse building at the Synagogue Church of all Nations till today.
A witness in the trial involving two engineers charged with negligence and manslaughter, Dr Olusegun Oyenuga, had told court that the church failed to respond to requests for documents needed at the start of investigations.
He disclosed this while being cross-examined by the lead counsel for the defence Lateef Fagbemi.He said, “The Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), sent a letter to the Synagogue Church to furnish it with some documents which would aid investigations into collapsed building but we did not receive reply during our investigations.”
The prosecution witness averred to his competence, telling the court that he holds an HND in Civil Engineering from the Yaba College of Technology in 1978 and a first class BSc degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Lagos in 1981, including other professional qualifications.
Oyenuga told the court that the nine-man investigative committee that visited the site of the building collapse was created by COREN, in conjunction with the Nigerian Buildings and Roads Research Institute (NIBRRI).
“The investigative committee consisted of nine people,’ adding ‘there was no geophysics in the committee,” he said.He however admitted that he had no knowledge of who delivered the letter of request from COREN to SCOAN neither did he have an acknowledgement copy of the letter.
Also, counsel for defendant, Mrs Titi Akinlawon, asked Oyenuga, “You had alleged in your evidence that you got exhibits P2 and P3 from the church, in what circumstances did you get those documents? “
Oyenuga however replied that he did not get those documents from the church, but rather from the office of the Coroner which was set up to investigate the building collapse.
It would be recalled that the defendants were arraigned on 111-count charge bordering on involuntary manslaughter, gross negligence and or reckless disregard for human life, in respect of the seven- story building that collapsed at Ikotun Egbe area of Lagos, leading to the death of 116 persons mostly South Africans.