A coroner inquest, instituted by the Lagos State government to look into the collapse of a guest house by the Synagogue Church of All Nations, has indicted the church for negligence, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The guest house, which was under construction, collapsed in September 2014, killing 114 people, many of them South Africans, who were in Nigeria for the church’s service in Lagos.
The inquest, which began proceedings on October 13, 2014, called many witnesses, including Lagos State Building Control Agency, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State Ministry of Works, Surveyor-General of the state, the SCOAN building contractors, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, and Lagos State Ministry of Tourism.
Others include National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Lagos State Fire Service and Lagos State Transport Management Authority.
Other witnesses called to testify include Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, among others.
The General Overseer and founder of SCOAN, Prophet TB Joshua, who was called to testify, did not show up but that did not stop the inquest from proceeding with its investigation.
The inquiry sat for months and finally gave judgment today, July 8.
In his decision Wednesday, the Presiding Chief Magistrate, Oyetade Komolafe, ordered the prosecution of the contractors who constructed the collapsed building.