Thursday, 23 June 2016

Airplane not in charge of Synagogue building breakdown — Witness

Former Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde yesterday disclosed that the distance between the collapsed guest house in Synagogue church and the aircraft that flew around that direction on the fateful day was like the height of four NITEL buildings put together.

 TB Joshua-Synagogue Church
TB Joshua-Synagogue Church

Ayinde made the disclosure while he was led in evidence for the second day running, before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of an Ikeja High Court by the state Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Ajanaku.
Management of the church had argued that the building collapse was a planned work, which was probably carried out by an aircraft that flew low near the collapsed building on the fateful day.
In his testimony, Ayinde informed the court that immediately after the building collapse, the General Overseer of the Church, Pastor T.B. Joshua invited him and the then Lagos State Governor, Mr. Raji Fashola, to his office and gave them a video CD implying that the collapsed building was caused by an aircraft.
“Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA’s response after analysing the video after our request for expert advice showed via their Flight Path that the aircraft that passed that day was about 103 feet away from the collapsed building,” he said.
He further said that they equally took the NCAA’s response to the office of the Surveyor General of Lagos State to plot the graph to determine the closeness.
Meanwhile, he could not inform the court if it was possible for the aircraft to have caused the collapse or not.
During the proceedings, the defence counsel to the 1st defendant objected to a request made by prosecution counsel, Mrs Alakija to tender documents as exhibits to the court.
The documents include NCAA response letter; letter of approval of a five-storey church auditorium, pictures of the collapsed building, letter requesting for the documents of the collapsed building from the church and the survey of the collapsed building.
The defendants in the matter are the Trustees of the Synagogue Church of all Nations, the two engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun and their companies, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Limited.

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