*Church was still processing building approval when it collapsed —Witness
Ikeja—A Lagos State Coroner’s Court investigating the collapsed building of the Synagogue Church of All Nations yesterday admitted the plan of the building and other adjoining structures as exhibits.
Mr Bisi Adedire, a town planner and witness of the church, tendered the building plan to the inquest presided over by Mr Oyetade Komolafe.
The inquest was instituted under the Lagos State Coroner’s System Law No. 7 of 2007, for the purpose of unravelling the cause of the incident.
One hundred and sixteen persons were killed in the incident which happened on Sept.12.
Adedire, led in evidence by Mr Olalekan Ojo, the counsel to the church, said that the church was still processing the building approval when it collapsed.
He said that the church had paid over N20 million to the Lagos State Government for processing of the approval.
The witness said that the alleged non-approval of the building could not have been responsible for its collapse.
“An approval can be secured even, for a building that is already in existence.
“Whether a building got approval or not, what determines its strength is the way in which materials used on the building were applied,” Adedire said.
Also testifying, Mr Rafiq Arogunjo, a Deputy General Manager, Air Traffic Control, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, confirmed that the CH 130 Hercules belonging to the Nigerian Air Force hovered over the church.
Arogunjo, however, maintained that NAMA carried out a scientific analysis of the distance between the collapsed building and the aircraft, which showed that it flew over 1,100 feet.
According to him, we observed that the pilot maintained 1,100 feet at all material times during the training operation.
“There is no way I would have known the intention of the pilot on the day of the incident.
“I can also confirm that the flight plan was submitted to me, but cannot remember the name of the pilot that flew the aircraft on the day of the incident.
“I don’t also know what the aircraft was carrying that day, and the identity of those in the aircraft is not known to me.
“I have no knowledge of the gadgets on board the flight and I don’t know the use with which the flight was deployed on the day under review.
“The aircraft is designed for military operations to the best of my knowledge, but I don’t know if the intention of the aircraft was to hit any target.
“I have heard about an aircraft on a sabotage mission release invisible substance on a target lased with explosive devices with the aim of bombing a target.
“I cannot confirm if the aircraft had such a substance and we did not lose sight on radar of the aircraft on the day of the incident,” he said.