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Whereas the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), its founder, Prophet TB Joshua and the building engineer that constructed the ill-fated multi-storey building that collapsed within seconds in Lagos, Nigeria on September 12th 2014 continue to stand trial at a Lagos High Court, admitted evidences and fact checks by leading professionals have continued to suggest controlled implosion.
At the last week court proceedings on the case of complications leading to the collapse that killed 116 people, including 85 South Africans, leading engineering experts, Professor Patrick Nwankwo presented more convincing professional facts as to the possible cause of the collapse other than construction irregularities as assumed by many.
Professor Nwankwo, an international professor of building and structural engineering, gave evidence on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th November 2019 at the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere.
Apart from arguing that the collapsed guesthouse was compliant with all known Nigerians and international standards, he ruled out complicit on either the side of the Church or the contractor.
Being led-in-evidence by the defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Nwankwo explained before the court that he visited the site, took measurements and carried out thorough investigations before concluding that that the collapse “had nothing to do with structural defects”.
In his lead argument, Professor Nwankwo averred that a building with structural defects would fall partially or sink on one side, adding that warning signals such as cracks would be observed by occupants.
“It is not possible for it to collapse like a park of cards as seen in the case of Synagogue”, he insisted, referring to the manner in which the building imploded in a matter of seconds, as captured by the church’s CCTV.
Giving further on how he reached his conclusion, the Don revealed that he carried out structural analysis using Orion Design Software modelling on the beams, columns, foundation, anchorage, expansion joints, rigid zones and mechanism vis-a-vis the internationally accepted Codes of practice for engineering to arrive at his conclusions.
On his response, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Dr Jide Martin raised no objection against Professor Nwankwo’s tendered report on his findings which were joined with several volumes of ‘British Standard building codes of practice’ to support his professional followers of the nearly five-year legal tussle say Professor Nwankwo’s position aligned clearly with that of Dr Stephen Asheri Ntoga, a trained civil, structural and material engineer from Tanzania who equally examined the guesthouse and averred that controlled implosion may be at work rather than structural or foundational failure.
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