SYNAGOGUE BUILDING COLLAPSE: CORONER SUSPENDS PROCEEDINGS PENDING HIGH COURT RULING
At the resumed sitting of the Coroner's Inquest into the collapsed Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) building on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, proceedings could not go on as usual due to an application filed by the registered trustees of the church, contending that the court has exceeded its jurisdiction by dabbling into areas that are inconsequential to the primary motif of its constitution.
Ruling on the application, which was supposed to have been given on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, was moved to Friday, December 5, 2014. As a result of this development, magistrate Oyetade Komolafe decided to stay proceedings pending the determination of the suit by the high court and therefore suspended the sitting to Friday.
Speaking before the suspension, Komolafe observed that he would act in accordance with the law and awaits the decision of the superior court. “I am also bound by the law, therefore, I will respect the rule of law by waiting for the ruling of the higher court concerning this matter. I hereby suspend proceedings until Friday,” he said.
It would be recalled that at the Friday November 21, 2014 sitting of the Coroner's Inquest into the collapsed Synagogue, Church Of All Nations building, the court was told that the materials used for the construction of the collapsed building were approved by the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON
This submission was made by the director in charge of Inspectorate and Compliance at SON, Engineer Bede Obayi. He also expressed surprise about the speed at which the building collapsed, fuelling speculations that the controlled demolition theory was indeed plausible.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday November 19,2014, the Police Officer in charge of Homicide at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos, DSP Olushola Agboyi, told the court that, even though investigation was still on concerning the circumstances surrounding the incident, there were strong reasons to suspect internal sabotage.
He admitted that from the CCTV footage he watched, the aircraft that flew around the building prior to its collapse was unusually low. He further said that in his bid to do a thorough job, he had interviewed a total of 34 persons including some eye witnesses and survivors who corroborated his claim that the aircraft flew at a very low altitude and caused panic around the Ikotun area prior to the collapse of the building.