Synagogue: Counsel Faults Report Of Building Collapse Prevention Guild
Counsel to The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, Olalekan Ojo, has faulted major areas of the report submitted to the coroner by the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG).
During the cross-examination of the witness from the BCPG, Mr Oreoluwa Fadayomi, Ojo noted that most of the conclusions of the body in its report were not based on fact or evidence but on mere suspicion and speculation.
Citing an example from the report, Ojo noted that the body’s conclusion that the building likely collapsed due to the weakness of the beams arose from its investigation at the site of the building of materials suspected to be remnants of the collapsed beams, six months after the incident. To this, Ojo pointed out to the coroner the invalidity of such a weighty conclusion since it was based on assumptions.
Additionally, the report had alleged that The SCOAN employed one Engineer Akinfenwa as a structural engineer, a claim Ojo denied, challenging the association to produce a copy of the document which proved their assertions.
Ojo told the coroner that there was need to ensure accuracy and fairness in the submissions of all witnesses as contradictions could mar the fact-finding essence of the entire inquest.
Fadayomi admitted the BCPG could have carried out better investigation on the collapse of the guest house if its members had visited the scene earlier.
"If I had visited the scene earlier than the time I did, I would have had a better material to carry out a better investigation into the incident,” he said, adding his investigation was only done in March 2015, six months after the incident.
“As at the time I got to the scene of the failed structure, the members of the collapsed building were already disjointed," he told the court.
Having picked hole in many areas of the BCPG report, counsel to The SCOAN, Olalekan Ojo asked for the court’s permission to allow him and his client to present more witnesses to react to the BCPG report.
However, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe said there was no time for such, adding that the inquest has allowed enough time to witnesses and therefore would not allow any new witness with a view to drawing the curtains on the inquest in May before the inauguration of the new government-elect.
Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe therefore adjourned sitting to Friday, April 24, 2015.
Nosa Osazuwa - writer from Lagos, Nigeria