The Synagogue Church has denied online reports that the collapsed 6-storey building was at one time sealed by the Lagos state government and a contravention notice served on the church. Below is a statement they posted on their Facebook page...
This is an official communication from The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations regarding some stories currently being reported in the media about the recent incident that happened in The SCOAN.
Our attention has been drawn to a publication in the Vanguard Newspaper of 26th September 2014 titled, ‘Synagogue: We Sealed Off Building Before Collapse – LSBCA’.
In the article, the General Manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, Mrs Abimbola Animashahun Odunayo was quoted as saying that the agency had sealed off the building before it collapsed and that the church ignored the warnings of the agency to stop construction. The story was initially published by online media portal News24.
We deem it necessary to state that the above publication is not true in that:
1. No contravention notice was served on the church before the collapse because there was no reason for the issuance of such notices.
2. The building had never been sealed off for any reason whatsoever before the collapse of 12th September, 2014.
3. At no time was any stop-work notice or directive served on the church or pasted on the building prior to 12th September, 2014.
We however wish to state that the letters that were written to the church by LSBCA were written after the collapse of 12/09/14 in the following order:
1. A letter dated 16/09/2014 Ref No. LASBCA/AL/PCA/DH/01 requesting for the submission of a development permit and approval of structures within the church complex, four days after the building collapsed.
2. A contravention notice dated 17/09/2014 Ref No. AL/LASBCA/DH/PCA/CN 06 alleging certain contraventions, five days after the building collapsed.
3. A letter dated 17/09/14 Ref No. AL/LASBCA/DH/PCA/CN 06 requesting for non-destructive tests for structural stability, five days after the building collapsed.
It must be noted that no sealing or quit notice has been served as the building never called for such.
In the above circumstances, we would like to believe that LSBCA has been quoted out of context with the motive of destroying the ongoing investigation into the case as well as casting doubt on the position of the church that the collapse was due to an attack.
Our attention was also drawn to a publication in Nigeria’s Guardian Newspaper of Friday 26th September 2014 titled, ‘Early Probe Report Indicates Compromise In Synagogue Building.’
The article quoted the Honourable Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Lagos State, Mr Toyin Ayinde, as saying that one of the columns or pillars of the collapsed building in the church measured 2 feet by 2 feet and that the reinforcement used for the same was 16mm.
This publication is also misleading and untrue. There is no doubt that it was calculated to give the impression that the collapse was due to structural defects as against the position of the church to the contrary.
We hereby request all the involved parties to take the necessary steps towards correcting such dangerous misinformation so as not to mislead the entire country and the international community.
We also urge the media to take necessary steps towards avoiding the publication of unconfirmed stories in future.
We should not pre-empt and interfere with the ongoing investigation.