One of the survivors of the collapsed Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), guest building, Taiwo Taiwo, on Thursday told a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere that the Church paid and took over the welfare of all the dependants of all the persons that died in the tragic incident.
Taiwo, who is testifying as a defence witness, also told the trial judge, Justice Lawal-Akapo that the Church has not failed at any time to carry out the obligations, towards the dependants of the deceased.
The Lagos State government is prosecuting the Registered Trustees of Synagogue Church of All Nations, (SCOAN) and the two engineers that constructed the collapsed building on a 111-count charges of criminal negligence, manslaughter and failure to obtain building permit.
116 persons, mostly foreigner on religious tourism to Nigeria, were killed in the tragic incident that occurred on September 12, 2014.
Other defendants in the case are: Oladele Ogundeji, Akinbela Fatiregun, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Limited.
The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions said the defendants violated Section 75 of the Urban and Regional Planning Law of Lagos State 2010, as well as Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
When they were arraigned on April 19, 2016, they pleaded ‘not guilty.’
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, Taiwo who is a volunteer guest worker in the Church, said he arrived at the collapsed building at about 12noon, before the incident occurred.
The witness claimed that his duties were to see to the feeding, accommodation and welfare said he was at the dinning on ground floor preparing for guests’ lunch when he heard a thundering sound with a kind of horizontal light line moving across the walls.
The witness, led in evidence by Olalekan Ojo SAN, also said he was unconscious and was only rescued a day after the incident, adding that he felt burning sensation on his back and when he opened his eyes, the environment was dark.
He also stated that he never saw any crack in any part of the building while attending to guests on the other floors
Justice Lawal-Akapo, adjourned the case till today for continuation of trial.
Sources: Leadership Newspaper