The Police Anti-Bomb squad unit has told the Lagos coroner, Magistrate O.A. Komolafe, who is probing the September 12 building collapse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, that they had yet to conclude investigations into the incident.
About 116 persons, mostly foreigners, died in the collapsed six-storey building, which served as a guest house for the Prophet TB Joshua-led Church.
The Head of the Anti-bomb squad and an Assistant Superintendent of Police, Olakunle Olanrewaju, in his testimony at the inquest on Wednesday, disclosed that the police had collected all necessary samples to determine whether a bomb blast was responsible for the collapse of the building.
Olarenwaju affirmed under cross-examination by the counsel for the SCOAN, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, that it was in consonance with the Explosive Ordinance Devices (EOD) department of the Nigeria Police to visit the site of any disaster, if there was any reasonable suspicion that an explosive might have been responsible for such incident.
He said, “The mission of the EOD team, led by my humble self, was to find out whether or not the building collapsed as a result of the use of explosives. My team collected samples of debris and roofing sheets.
“We were however not able to conduct a post-blast investigation on the site because of the very heavy rescue operation going on as of the time my team arrived at the collapsed site.
“The post-blast investigation was imperative because it was suspected that a blast might have been used on the collapsed guest house. In fact, my team and I swung into action searching for explosives and power source.
“But we will base our decision on the outcome of the laboratory test to ascertain if the speed with which the building collapsed is consistent with controlled explosion”.
Under cross-examination by the counsel for Lagos State Government, Mr. Akingbola Adeniran, the witness pointed out that his team did not recover any detonator or battery from the collapsed building site.
He, however, pleaded for more time during which the lab result on the collected samples would be ready before he would be able to give any definite position on whether or not the collapse was connected with a bomb blast.