Representative of Synagogue Church of All Nations have told Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA that the approval papers for the collapsed building which occurred on the 12th of September, 2014 in the church premises had been buried in the rubble, and cannot be produced.
The General Manager of Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun-Odunayo while speaking to Vanguard Newspaper confirmed this, and explained why the State Government has been unable to seal the church premises. Continue below...
In the Synagogue incident, was your agency not carried along in the building process and do they have necessary approval?
We are still investigating. As I said earlier, we asked them about the approval papers, but the representatives of the church said the approval papers had been buried in the rubble. So we are still waiting for them to present the papers.
Yet, the fact is that the building in question was initially a two-storey building before they added four raising it to six. They could not have done that without having competent people overseeing the building. If a raft foundation was done to carry out two-storey building, what did they do to fortify the strength of that foundation to carry out six-storey building.? This is the question we are asking them. Investigation is on-going; until we finish the investigation, we won’t be able to do much. We are just waiting for the result.
Lagos State Material Testing, current registered institutions, NIA and other professionals are all involved in the investigation. We will do the test to unravel the cause of the collapse. Even though, they said it was due to aircraft, we have a lot of houses that planes fly over. everyday and they are not collapsing, so why this particular one, we have to conduct a thorough investigation.
On the seeming reluctance of the state government to place immediate sanction as it is usually the case.
The state government is not reluctant. The fact is that the place is not a plot of land, it is a compound. We cannot go ahead and seal the whole place, the site is an open space. We can’t seal for now, because the law says when such an incident happens, the first thing to do is to evacuate victims into safety after which we have to cordon off the place and take charge. But unfortunately that land has other plans.
And also because of the aircraft theory, we have to investigate. Aviation experts are involved. We have to sort things out before taking action. The Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law, 2010 is there. We need to follow the law. So we are leaving everything till investigation is concluded which I believe will come very soon. But, I can assure you appropriate action will be taken.