We paid over N20 million to Lagos govt for building approval – Synagogue town planner

Synagogoue building collapseThe Lagos State Coroners Court sitting investigating the death of the victims at the collapsed guest house belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) on Thursday admitted in evidence the building plan of the collapsed guest house and other adjoining structures.

Prior to this development, the court presided over by Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe was informed by a town planner and witness from SCOAN, Mr Bisi Adedire that the collapsed building got the approval of the Lagos State Government.

The town planner who confirmed to the court that SCOAN had paid over N20 million to the state government for the building approval maintained that whether a building got approval or not, what determines its strength is the way materials used on the building was applied.

Adedire added that, “An approval can be secured even for a building that is already in existence”.

Earlier in his testimony, Deputy General Manager (DGM), Air Traffic Control of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Rafiq Olubukola Arogunjo, confirmed that the aircraft that allegedly hovered around the collapsed guest house while orbiting did not fly below 1,100 feet.

According to Arogunjo, “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 that flew 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 control tower would not be able to know what the pilot was doing with the aircraft whenever the said aircraft goes off the visibility of the radar.

“We also carried out a scientific analysis on the distance between the collapsed guest house and the aircraft. There was never a time the aircraft flew over the collapsed building.

“But nobody signed the scientific analysis carried out on the distance between the building and the aircraft.

“I don’t believe in the CCTV footage before the court and I cannot give answers based on the footage.

“There is nothing in my deposition before the court that shows the horizontal distance between the aircraft and the collapsed guest house.

“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.

“The aircraft evidently flew near the building that collapsed at 1,100 feet. I have heard about an aircraft on a sabotage mission release invisible substance on a target lased with explosive device 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.”