The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) would allocate a sum of $4,500 (50,000 rand, or N750,000 in equivalent) to cover burial and other expenses of each family who lost a member in the September 12 SCOAN building collapse in Lagos, South African News24 reported on October 24, 2014, Friday.
According to SCOAN spokesperson in SA, Kirsten Nematandani, the church has completed the check of financial status of every family affected by the tragedy. They travelled across all the provinces in South Africa to visit and support victims’ families.
The audit concluded that many of the deceased were breadwinners, therefore, their families have no money to cover burial expenses, as they can hardly afford paying for their rent, school fees, groceries and etc.
“The church has pleaded with the Nigerian government to expedite the repatriation process in order for families to bury the deceased with dignity and receive closure,” the spokesman added.
It would be noted that Nigerian specialists from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, completed collection of DNA samples to identify SCOAN collapse victims on Wednesday.
The Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe (South Africa) confirmed on October 23, 2014, Thursday that DNA samples of the 116 victims had arrived from Nigeria. Both of the countries agreed that the final analysis would be conducted at a laboratory Stellenbosch, Western Cape, SA.
Radebe also noted that the process of bringing the remains of the deceased back to South Africa is pending, as the Nigerian authorities had not yet issued the order to release the bodies from Lagos morgues.
A total of 85 bodies of would be flown to South Africa. Out of them: 81 South Africans, 3 Zimbabweans and 1 citizen of D.R. Congo. All of them were South African passport-holders.
It would be recalled that at least 116 people lost their lives as a multi-storey guesthouse belonging to SCOAN collapsed in Ikotun area of Lagos on September 12, 2014, Friday.
The founder of SCOAN, Prophet T.B.Joshua has initially suggested that a strange aircraft flying over the premises might have been responsible. His further statements claimed that the collapse looked like a‘controlled demolition’ rather than structural failure of the building.
Despite all the versions, the renowned man of God insisted that the incident was an attack.
The investigations continue, as Lagos Coroner, Oyetade Komolafe, ordered T.B. Joshua to attend and present his account of SCOAN guesthouse collapse at the ongoing inquest proceedings on November 5.