Quick update on the court case (Bisola‘s story part 2 will be posted this evening). It appears that after the verdict of the coroner, TB Joshua lodged an appeal with the High Court challenging the verdict. Yesterday it was announced that this appeal has been rejected, clearing the way for prosecution (about time too). No doubt there will be more swings and roundabouts as SCOAN launch another appeal, but at least this is a step forward.
The thing that boggles the mind the most is that despite the coroner reporting that ALL the buildings on the SCOAN compound were built illegally (the auditorium had approval for the initial build, but had received unapproved extra floors afterwards), meetings continue to happen in them. After the international crisis caused by the first building collapse, why are Lagos State Government allowing large public meetings to continue in the buildings of a church who has already killed 116 people due to their illegal and inadequately reinforced buildings? All these buildings should be immediately shut down pending a thorough structural survey.
Let us remind you, the findings of the coroner showed clearly and unequivocally that the cause of the collapse was structural failure. Three independent agencies (the Nigeria Building And Road Research Instititute (NBBRI), the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG)) provided a litany of serious structural failings, for example:
- Inadequate beams of 750mm by 225mm (should have been 900mm by 300mm)
- Inadequately reinforced columns (should have been reinforced with 12 x Y25 bars or 20 x Y20mm bars. Instead they used 10 x Y20 bars (as seen in the video released by SCOAN).
- Inadequate bearing pressure for the central column due to the 2m x 2m x 0.9m foundations.
- Failure to introduce rigid zones for bracing the structure and did not design the frames as an unbraced structure.
- Failure to provide movement joints that could have absorbed any movement due to creep, contraction, expansion and differential settlement etc..
- 8 out of the 12 main beams of the structure failed because they were undersized, under-reinforced (both in tension and shear), the tension bars were poorly anchored to the column supports and 8 x Y20 was used instead of 14 x Y20.
- The ground floor columns were slender and readily gave in to buckling
Although SCOAN may continue to spread lies about sonic weapons or controlled demolition, anyone who allows themselves to look at the event with an open mind will very quickly see through the lies and realise the cause of the collapse is very obvious. Let’s pray that this latest legal hurdle will clear the way for justice to be served for the sake of the victims.