Construction regulations in Nigeria – where did SCOAN go wrong?

Afghanistans infrastructure project road construction in shebirgThursday 18th February will see the start of the trial of the SCOAN trustees and the engineers responsible for the deadly building collapse. In our last post we wondered why SCOAN were so desperate to halt the case when it would appear they had a convenient (and maybe even legitimate) scapegoat. However, Vooke, who has managed commercial construction projects in Kenya and is familiar with construction regulations in the region explained to us how intertwined the relationship between the contractor and the building owner is. Over to Vooke:

How it works

Let’s start with @Jesse the Developer. He has a vacant parcel of land in Lagos and he wishes to develop it

@Jesse sits with his architect @Undertaker and after lengthy discussions, @Undertaker does the building plans.

@Jesse hands the plans to the engineer @Just Wonder who does the structural plans.

@Jesse must now seek approval for the relevant authorities for both the building and structural plans. Once approved, he can proceed to the next stage.

@Jesse hands both the Building Structural plans to his quantity surveyor , @Sheba who prepares the bill of quantities (BQ). The BQ is a breakdown of the estimated cost of each stage of construction down to the very finishing.

At this point, @Jesse may appoint a contractor or invite them to tender. The contractors will give a blanket amount that is supposed to cover the entire cost of construction. So they must access the plans and the BQ. Note, sometimes you have a single construction firm offering all these services. But for now, let us assume they are different individuals.

@Jesse settles on @DOMI DG contractor. @DOMI DG is supposed to follow the BQ and the plans to the letter.

Engineer @Just Wonder inspects @DOMI DG at various stages to check for conformity with his plans. If they don’t, he can order the work to stop or be redone.

Contractor @DOMI DG will be invoicing developer @Jesse at various stages till completion. @DOMI DG’s edge is usually in sourcing for materials cheaper but of same quality than the BQ

Now, on liability in case of a disaster.

Note all these involved are registered professionals. If @Jesse enlists somebody who is not registered but who passed themselves as registered, either the architect or the engineer, these frauds are to blame. Let’s suppose all are registered.

Disasters usually follow shoddy job and from this we can see the most responsible for building safety is the engineer and the contractor.

If engineer @Just Wonder can demonstrate that her plans were never followed, and/or she was never invited to inspect the construction, she walks free.

If contractor @DOMI DG can demonstrate that they followed the plans and the house collapsed, then he walks and engineer @Just Wonder goes to jail.

If contractor @DOMI DG is liable for deviating from the plans either procedurally or using different materials, and if they can demonstrate undue influence to deviate by the developer @Jesse, then BOTH go to jail.

Looking at SCOAN.

We don’t have access to the structural plans se we can’t tell whether there was deviation from these. But any competent engineer is not going to shamelessly deviate from such essentials as reinforcement columns. So the problem is really with the contractor.

But remember for ease of construction, many firms offer all these services so we could be dealing with a single firm.

The question is, did TB Joshua interfere with the plans, or were there any plans in the first place? And if he interfered, is there any proof? If there is no proof, TB Joshua will walk free. But as you shared, they can’t be fighting this hard if they were merely victims of the contractor’s greed.

I don’t know about Nigeria but I do know there are some works that should not be carried out with the building occupied.. This is another angle I haven’t heard explored.

About the approved plans, I wish to emphasize the importance of this exercise. It shows what should go into a building. A contractor may escape liability if they demonstrate they followed the plans as I said. But how would they prove they followed the plans? By furnishing a set of plans identical to the approved ones. Remember the authorities retain a copy.

For SCOAN, there was no approval and quite possibly there were no plans. So what were they following? If there were no plans, both SCOAN and the contractors are liable. But here is the gray area….to what extent did the contractor follow TB Joshua’s instructions?

Point is liability between the contractor and SCOAN lies in the communication between the two over the development. Poor documentation of the same will work against the contractor more than SCOAN in my opinion because they are the more knowledgeable of the two.

As such, you can bet if the prosecutors focus on the contractors, TB Joshua will never rest easy until the case is concluded because the contractors’ first line of defense will be to shift as much liability as possible to SCOAN.

Finally, I can’t emphasize enough the owner liability of TB Joshua for allowing occupation of the building. This I believe is where they could nail him. The Certificate for Fitness for habitation is among the last step before a commercial building is occupied. If you allow occupation before the Law lets you, you ought to be liable for the accident following occupation. It does not matter whether the collapse was due to shoddy work, the owner is fully liable. However, I think this would be civil law rather than criminal. Somebody would have to sue him privately on behalf of the victims (Note from editor: this is already in progress).

21 thoughts on “Construction regulations in Nigeria – where did SCOAN go wrong?

  1. @ All,

    TB Joshua would not walk free simply because as is claimed that is supposedly a “man of God” and “prophet of this time”, TB Joshua had to wait upon God for instruction. And God did not give that to him. God never said anything to do what he did. God is not in illegal building and without building permit. I have no idea which God that is ? God is a God that assigns Governments for such things to be implemented. Whether right or wrong that is how the procedure is to be done.

    What they did (SCOAN) TB Joshua, Staff and others is go ahead and thought we will ask this later on our terms, we need extra capacity.

    God knew that this would go wrong and that is how we know He never commanded it to be done. Can we agree about this ? I can’t imagine that God if He knew what it would give plenty problems and many people dead as well lots of grief for the victims and international shame, HE IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF IT ! God is not the Author of confusion. God is knows His plans for you, to prosper and does NOT ADD any sorrow to it.

    Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

    Since TB Joshua and staff have no interest in what they have done by their own choices, they have embarked out on to silence any critical voice towards them in using monies that were not theirs to bribe and go out trying to “prove” that they are not the bad persons but the good one’s. If they had no access to those finances they would have not been able to do this. Which would have made a lot of people angry, because people are bought and bribed with money. Even if it is very bad what has happened. As the Bible says, Money answereth all things, but also have those pierced with grief because of it.

    As in the Gospel, where Jesus paid for all our sinful doings. There is no price upon Manslaughter by gross negligence. Because that is what it comes down to. Or involuntary manslaughter. Even though people have not intended to kill or maim, it still is not from God and that is here the issue here. They parade their false private prophet all over the world but are willingly covering up their actions by counter actions that involves monetary reprieve for picked out victims to pretend they have done nothing wrong.

    As I said about Jesus, NOBODY could pay the price for sin. Only Jesus could do that. In this way their frenzied taking on victim projects to show they are the good persons it should not do in the eyes of a righteous judge that presides in Lagos, Nigeria.

    It would mean that every bad person who is millionaire or billionaire could just buy themselves out by doing good deeds and giving out monies to silence as such.


    Deuteronomy 18 “You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 “You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.…

    Again we see here SCOAN and TB Joshua as well staff take the opportunity to further their quest in unrighteousness and deception by willingly spilling blood on the earth for their sake to become famous. How upside down world that is.

    Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?…

    No matter how you turn it left right or center, it will always be pointed towards TB Joshua who did reckless choices with his staff to erect an illegal hostel and without building permit and try so hard to walk away from that by all means and contradictions they did.

    He is the very person that told in his preaching that if we had a court case, don’t fight it, don’t use lawyers, but leave it all to God. What we have seen is a person that has done everything to quash such things with counteracting any court proceedings and him be part of it to testify of what he has said and claimed.

    His followers and others have backed this up by resisting this by all means that were available in the Law loopholes. How could you ever believe such a person in their actions ever again that constantly is walking on the sidelines of it all when it comes out for them and stand in the middle if it when they can glorify themselves to carve out a name for themselves. No words are to describe as such. To me it is disgusting.

    If we can’t do such things without punishment, why can SCOAN and TB Joshua and the rest of the world who is involved into this, do this ???? Get away with selfish crimes and choices with deep consequences and pass it off with religious drivel. Someone has to be accountable for their actions. If it not here, then at least to the Government and to God Who is in all that representative. And all fingers then point towards TB Joshua who should have known better not to allow to build illegally and without building permit claiming he hears from God about that, to do so.

    • He is the very person that told in his preaching that if we had a court case, don’t fight it, don’t use lawyers, but leave it all to God.

      Any idea where he said that? Is it online?

      • @TBJ,

        This must be online in the videos that are done fron EmmanuelTV, when I still was watching it. I am 100% sure he said that. It’s quite a few years ago. But I did see it. That is why I was so surprised he changed this whole scenario after the hostel collapse.

  2. You can’t be serious. What do construction regulations in Kenya have to do with Nigeria regulations? Kenya is on the other side of the continent. Why not ask a Nigerian contractor?

  3. @tbjoshuawatch,
    I just came across an interesting point from an old article;

    ‘…..Taking the coroner through the construction process, the contractor said his company supplied the manpower and the equipment used while the SCOAN procured and supplied the building materials, such as sand, cement, quarry and reinforcement.

    Fatiregun, however, testified that as the expert, his team ensured subjecting the materials to quality test and confirmed that the materials met the required standards…..’

    At this point, it is beyond doubt that structural failure is what led to the collapse, and the collapse happening during significant alteration to the building means the construction is the cause. This is why the contractor is in court.

    The Coroner’s report indicates substandard materials were used, from this article, TB Joshua supplied them obviously under instructions of the contractor.

    All over sudden, the contractor looks very guilty and most responsible of the two. Even if SCOAN supplied substandard materials, as they rightly pointed out, thy had a duty to inspect them before using them.

    But the question is, if this is none of TB Joshua’s fault, why did he put such a spirited and idiotic campaign from blaming it on controlled demolition to infrasonic weaponry? Why not just let the contractor burn? My feeling is there more to this contractor-TB Joshua relationship on the construction than meets the eye. Once he is staring at life in prison, he will start singing like a canary and you can bet he will implicate TB Joshua.

  4. Looking at all this,they’ll is no contractors here, all those building done at Scoan, its TB joshua,s workers, watch the pace, its his workers

    • @mge
      I’m beginning to think the same. It’s one big tangled mess that will eventually all lead to TB Joshua. Let’s hope the judge has the patience to see it through.

  5. Plus all architectural designs of SCOAN, I heard of TBJ boasting of being the one inspired by the Holy Spirit and designing them. The guy keeps a stronghold on everything that goes on in that place. I would not be surprised that he “designed the building of death” and hired bricklayers to construct under his strong control, rushing them so that he can house as many people as possible and make good money.

    Plus, knowing some of the families that are pursuing civil cases and how hard SCOAN is working on the most sympathetic members in the families to pressurise those that are pushing the cases forward, I can’t help but smell rats like you guys have already alluded to above.

    • @Sheba
      That’s sounding increasingly likely. Which begs the question we’ve been asking since the collapse – why haven’t the government shut down the whole compound pending a thorough investigation?

  6. @tbjw

    The Government needs to be sued as well for failure to do it’s work. In that case they would wake up and do their job.

    • @Sheba

      Agreed. My guess is they left SCOAN running because they were afraid of the hit their tourism industry would take otherwise. They want to deal with the issue in question, but keep it as focused and narrow as they can possibly get away with. I think if it wasn’t for the large number of foreign visitors killed, they’d have closed the book on this case some time back.

      • @tbjoshuawatch,
        And not just any foreigners but South Africans.

        The court ought to interrogate the contractual arrangement between the engineers and SCOAN b fore letting TB Joshua off the hook because I strongly believe was involved in the construction.

        I also feel that for using the building while construction was in progress ought to be criminal and nothing short.

        But as observed above, Nigeria is so starved of forex and tourism that they’d easily look the other way

  7. Tomorrow is the d-day

    Hanging the contractor will not do justice as the real culprit TB Joshua will still walk

    • TB Joshua would not care for one bit, since that is another victims blood spilled for the sake of his own promotion world wide and the progress of his own personal life. Who wants such a pastor ?

      John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

      He won’t even think about that because that of a sort of coward he is, because it’s all about him and his venture.

  8. Pingback: BREAKING: Engineers in custody, SCOAN trustees arraigned | TB Joshua Watch

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