The foundation of Collapsed Synagogue Church building did not fail, investigating witness tells Nigerian court Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 6, 2021


A member of the Nigerian Building Collapse and Prevention Guild, Ebenezer Ologuntoye, has told a Lagos court that the site of the 2014 building collapse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations passed soil test.

Local newspaper, The Guardian, quoted Ologuntoye, a geotechnical expert who investigated the foundation of the collapsed building, as saying in his testimony before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo that the two tests conducted at the site of the collapsed building showed that ‘the foundation did not fail and the bearing capacity was adequate’.

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The witness was subpoena by the court to testify in an ongoing trial of the Registered Trustees of SCOAN and the engineers charged alongside their company over alleged involuntary manslaughter and building without approval by the Lagos State government, following the death of 116 people in the collapsed building, The Guardian said.

Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun alongside their companies, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Ltd, are facing a 110-count charge of involuntary manslaughter and one count charge of building without approval against the trustees.

“The BCPG assigned me to investigate the soil on which the foundation stand. I investigated the soil through Geo Technical Bubble and Dutch Comb electrical machine which was made available to me from BCPG member,” Ologuntoye told the court.

The witness further told court that he has worked with renowned organizations in Nigeria and the diaspora, adding that he had worked with a Polish company, Naeimor International, Ekiti State Local Government Service Commissio, Foundation Development Limited in London, Lakeside Park, London among others.

He said: “The sample of the soil gotten through the borehole test was sent to the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Laboratory for analysis while the dutch-comb test result was gotten on the spot of the test in the presence of representative of all parties.

“The parties that signed the report includes representative of SCOAN, Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory and the Coroner Court Representative.”

Justice Lawal-Akapo subsequently adjourned the matter till May 16, 17, 2019 for cross-examination of the witness by the state counsel lead by Dr Jide Matins.

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