At the ongoing court case regarding the tragic building incident at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos, Nigeria on September 12th 2014, Professor Patrick Nwankwo has confirmed the ill-fated guesthouse was compliant with international standards.
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, his conclusions reported in several Nigerian newspapers.
While being led-in-evidence by the defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Nwankwo told 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”.
Professor Nwankwo said 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.
Explaining his modus operandi, Professor Nwankwo said 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.
Nwankwo tendered the report on his findings, accompanied by several volumes of ‘British Standard building codes of practice’ to support his assertions, as exhibits to the court.
Dr Jide Martin, the Director of Public Prosecution, raised no objection against the documents after examining them.
Professor Patrick’s conclusions mirror that of Dr Stephen Asheri Ntoga, a trained civil, structural and material engineer from Tanzania who equally examined the guesthouse within TB Joshua’s church complex and concluded structural or foundational failure could not have been responsible for its tragic collapse.
The Lagos State Government is suing The SCOAN over the collapsed building that led to the death of 116 people, including 85 South Africans.
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist…