‘Faulty foundation led to The Synagogue building collapse’
• Students protest against alleged attempts to malign TB Joshua
A CONSULTANT to Lagos State Material Testing, Mr. Saheed Ariyori, has told the coroner sitting in Ikeja that the Synagogue Church of All Nations’ (SCOAN) building collapsed due to faulty foundation.
In his evidence before Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, who is investigation the September 12, 2014 collapse of the six-storey building, Ariyori, led by counsel to the Lagos State Government, told the court that he was part of the team of structural and geo-technical engineers that carried out a Structural Integrity Test on the building after it collapsed.
Disclosing that they took samples of materials used in the building to the laboratory for test and also took measurements of the foundation bases, he stated that the church did not furnish them with the building’s designs, therefore the team had to simulate the building to arrive at their conclusions.
He also testified that the team discovered, based on all the tests and calculations, that from inception, the building failed because the base that was supposed to take the load was grossly inadequate.
According to him, “the minimum base that will be required should have been 4.5 metres by 4.5 metres but what we had there was 2.2 metres by 2.2 metres. It was a wrong choice of foundation base. The foundation should have been continuous base and not a pad, as was used in the construction.”
However, after a copy of the structural design presented to the court was shown to him, Ariyori said the load imposed on the foundation was far more than it could bear hence the collapse.
In his response, the SCOAN counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, prayed the court to adjourn his cross-examination of the witness to enable him consult with the church’s engineers. He argued that the witness needed to be cross-examined due to some discrepancies in the building design, which needed to be examined before the witness.
Ojo noted that the testimony of the church’s Consultant Engineer, Mr. Oladele Ogundeji, before the court had also disagreed with Ariyori’s claim that a raft foundation should have been erected for the structure.
The matter was adjourned till today (March 5) for site visitation by parties while Ariyori’s cross-examination was fixed for tomorrow (March 6), 2015.
Students for TB Joshua
Meanwhile, the National Association of Ondo State Students (NAOSS) has threatened a protest over what they described as the deliberate plan by the Lagos State Government to tarnish the image of SCOAN founder, Prophet Temitope Joshua, over the collapsed guesthouse.
The body claimed that it has carried out independent investigations, and noted that the court case instituted by the Lagos State Government was deliberate to besmear Joshua and slur his hard-earned reputation.
Addressing newsmen in Akure, NAOSS National President, Comrade Awodola Afolayan, said the union’s findings showed clearly that the building has no structural defect and showed no sign of weakness before it collapsed.
According to Afolayan, based on the statement credited to Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe during the first sitting of the coroner that what happened in SCOAN could happen anywhere in the world, there is no need to unnecessarily prosecute the founder of the church.
He urged Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola to allow Komolafe do his work within the shortest possible period without any interference from any quarter and threatened that the students would embark on a mass protest if the coroner was not allowed to do its job without bias.
He added that the union would highlight some facts discovered by its investigation team, which visited the scene of the wreck few days after the collapse.
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