A member of the Building Collapse and Prevention Guild (BCPG), Ebenezer Ologuntoye has narrated to a Lagos High, Igbosere how Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN) collapsed building site passed soil test.
Ologuntoye in his testimony before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo said the two tests conducted at the site of the collapsed building showed that ‘the foundation did not fail and the bearing capacity was adequate’.
The witness who was subpoena by the court, testified in an ongoing trial of the Registered Trustees of SCOAN and the engineers charged alongside their company over alleged involuntary manslaughter and building without approval by the Lagos State government, following the death of 116 people in the collapsed building.
Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun alongside their companies -Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Ltd are facing a 110-count charge of involuntary manslaughter and one count charge of building without approval against the trustees.
Their offences contravene Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.The defendants had pleaded not guilty to all the count charges when they were arraigned on April 19, 2016.
However, in his testimony led by counsel for the Registered Trustees of SCOAN, Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), the witness told court that the BCPG set up committee after the SCOAN building collapsed and he was asked to do investigation on the cause.
Ologuntoye, a geotechnical expert told the court that he was saddled with the responsibility of determining what happened to the foundation of the collapsed building.
“The BCPG assigned me to investigate the soil on which the foundation stand. I investigated the soil through Geo Technical Bubble and Dutch Comb electrical machine which was made available to me from BCPG member.”
The witness further told the court that he had worked with renowned organizations in Nigeria and the diaspora, adding that he had worked with a Polish company, Naeimor International, Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission, Foundation Development Limited in London, Lakeside Park, London among others.
He said, “the sample of the soil gotten through the borehole test was sent to the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Laboratory for analysis while the dutch-comb test result was gotten on the spot of the test in the presence of the representatives of all parties.
The parties that signed the report include representatives of SCOAN, Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory and the Coroner Court Representative.”
Justice Lawal-Akapo subsequently adjourned the matter till May 16, 17, 2019 for cross-examination of the witness by the state counsel lead by Dr Jide Matins.