At the continued inquest into the cause of the collapse of a building within The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) last September, an experienced engineer has dismissed insinuations that the collapse was caused by a faulty foundation.
Engr. (Dr) Joseph Ibikunle Folayan, a US-trained geo-technical engineer, told the coroner that after visiting the site of the collapsed building, there were no signs whatsoever to suggest that the building’s foundation failed.
“What I saw when I visited the scene of the collapsed building did not in any way suggest that it collapsed due to foundation failure,” Folayan, who has over 50 years of experience in his field, told the court.
“The foundation I saw was not stressed at all and there were no signs to show that it failed. However, what has happened has happened. The unfortunate incident is a wake-up call to the practice and regulation of engineering in Nigeria. We have to put our house in order and do the right thing. COREN has to sit up to its responsibilities”.
Folayan, who is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, said he was incompetent to determine whether or not the mystery aircraft that flew over the building had any direct effect on it.
Furthermore, he countered the insinuation that engineering is based on assumption, expressing disappointment that Lagos state witnesses admitted that they had based their reports on assumptions only. “That’s alien to my profession,” the immediately past President of Association of Consulting Engineers firmly stated.
Earlier on, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning, Mr. Olutoyin Adedamola Ayinde was rebuffed for presenting mostly irrelevant documents to the court.
Most of the documents he tendered before the court were not related to the collapsed building but rather concerned other buildings within the church, especially the main auditorium. The church counsel, Olalekan Ojo, questioned the sincerity of the witness, stating that the coroner was instigated to look into the cause of the collapsed building and not other issues related to additional structures within the church
Many of the court attendants questioned why the commissioner would tender documents that had no direct bearing to the coroner, indicative of a ploy to stifle evidence.
Different stars of the Nigerian entertainment industry continued to besiege the court premises to show their support to the cleric at the center of the controversial inquest – T.B. Joshua. Hip-hop legend, Eedris Abdulkareem and ‘Lord of Ajasa’ led other artistes to the court premises where they insisted that no amount of antagonism can stop the man of God from achieving his God-given purpose on earth.
Eedris spoke glowingly about Prophet T.B. Joshua to the press after the court. “The man of God will be vindicated after the coroner because we all know he has a good conscience and is only being haunted by some people who cannot match his achievements and level of commitment to helping people,” he said, insisting that bias had no place within the Lagos State judicial system.
“What we are doing now is just a tip of the iceberg. Very soon, we will take to the streets to protest against any form of bias against the man of God. And it will be massive”.
Meanwhile, Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe has adjourned proceedings to Wednesday, April 8, 2015.