Saturday, April 10, 2021

Synagogue building collapse: Court fixes April 24 for adoption of final written addresses


tiamin rice

A Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, on Friday, fixed April 24 for the adoption of final written addresses in the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, collapsed building trial.

The Lagos State Government had sued SCOAN over the collapsed building which killed 116 worshipers of the church on Sept.12, 2014.

The defendants in the case are two engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun and their companies Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Ltd.

They are facing trial on 110-count charge of involuntary manslaughter, while the Registered Trustees of SCOAN was charged with building without approval.

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The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, DPP, accused the defendants of violating Section 75 of the Urban and Regional Planning Law of Lagos State, 2010.

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The directorate also said the defendants violated Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

They were arraigned on April 19, 2016, but they pleaded not guilty.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, the Lagos State Prosecutor, Dr Jide Martins, told the court that the business of the day was to pick a date for adoption of the final written addresses.

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The Judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, however, ordered that the defence counsel should file and adopt their final written addresses within 14 days.

Lawal-Akapo also ordered the prosecution to file their written addresses within 21 days.

He said that the defence should file their reply within seven days after the prosecution had filed theirs.

Lawal-Akapo adjourned the case until April 24 for adoption of the final written addresses.

At the last proceeding on Dec. 20, 2019, the defendants closed their case after cross examination of their last witness by the prosecution.

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The last witness, a professor of structural engineer, Patrick Nwankwo, had told the court that the mode of collapse of SCOAN guest house negated the characteristics of a collapsed building with structural defects.

The witness said any defective building, whether emanating from under or over reinforcement, poor constructional materials among others would have a ductile type of collapse.

He said, the collapse of Synagogue’s guest house was too catastrophic, adding that such collapse could only have been caused by an external factor.


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