BREAKING: Nigeria court details how SCOAN victims met their deaths
from HENRY IFEANYI in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – THE Coroner’s Court investigating the deadly collapse of the building at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Nigeria gave gory details around the injuries suffered by the more than 100 people killed on that fateful day.
Some 116 people, mostly South Africans, lost their lives following the tragic incident last year.
According to Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, who presided over the court, most of the victims sustained various injuries ranging from haemorrhage, loss of limbs, crushed bones, multiple rib fractures, perforation of the lungs, and destruction of left tibia vessels,
strangulation and chest wounds.
Komolafe disclosed that of the 116 victims, 60 were males and 56 females including a six year old child.
The six-storey building which collapsed on September 12, killing 85 South Africans, 22 Nigerians, two Benioise and two Togolese nationals. The rest of the victims are yet to be identified.
On Wednesday, Komolafe recommended that the builder of the structure be prosecuted for alleged criminal negligence.
The coroner also recommended that the church be investigated and tried for not obtaining necessary permit before constructing the building which collapsed and killed 116 person who were mostly South Africans.
The Coroner, presided over by Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, called for investigation of the church and that the relevant authorities should carry out detailed fitness test on all the structures within the premises of the church.
The Coroner also held that SCOAN did not obtain the relevant building permit/approval from the Lagos State Government in respect of the collapsed building, adding that the foundation failure is a remote cause of the collapse of the six storey building.
In his recommendation, Oyetade also ordered that the structural engineers that oversaw the construction of the collapsed building, Engineer(s) Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun of Hardrock Construction Co Ltd should be tried for criminal negligence by the relevant authority.
While giving the summary of his findings, Oyetade pointed out that the death of victims of the collapsed building was consistent with blunt force trauma that would normally be sustained from a collapsed building.
“Structural failure due to the combination of designs and detailing errors caused the building to collapse,” he ruled.
He noted that most of the victims sustained various injuries ranging from haemorrhage, loss of limbs, crushed bones, multiple rib fractures, perforation of the lungs, and destruction of left tibia vessels, strangulation and chest wounds.
Continuing his recommendations, the Coroner also said that Haruna Alaba, the Divisional Police Officer, Ikotun Police Station should forthwith be transferred from the said Ikotun Police Station because he failed to take note of what was happening in his area and had to rely on information from the Police Headquarters.
He also pointed out that the alleged aircraft which SCOAN claimed hovered over the building minutes before it collapsed was not the cause of the collapse of the building.
The inquest which started in October last year, a month after the tragic incident called some 32 witnesses and tendered a total of 45 exhibits.
– CAJ News
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