Day 1 of the criminal trial against SCOAN and their engineers revealed the bombshell that SCOAN had constructed a 6 storey building without the services of a structural engineer. Day 2 (20th June) revealed that SCOAN was only in possession of a single building permit, but that was now invalid:
“The Electronic Document Management System was searched and the only building approval for the church did not cover the site of the collapse building. “The document, a five – storey building approval was meant for the church auditorium but as at the time of the collapse, the church auditorium had gone from five floors to eight floors. “By the Ministry’s definition, the approval the church had for the auditorium is no longer valid and there was no application for approval registered for the collapsed building (emphasis ours, source).
So not a single building at SCOAN has a valid permit. That means none of them will have been properly inspected, and given the shocking revelation that SCOAN seem to think structural engineers are optional, none of these buildings will be safe. According to former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development Mr. Olutoyin Adedamola Ayinde “what SCOAN did constituted a breach, thus rendering the earlier approval invalid and the punishment [is] demolition under physical planning laws of Lagos State” (source).
So if Lagos State uphold the law, the entire SCOAN compound has to be bulldozered. If this doesn’t happen, it is only a matter of time before more people are killed. Incredibly, even the SCOAN website documents the fact that this is the forth building collapse they have experienced. On their “About The SCOAN” page, it says “Before moving to our present position, The SCOAN has had three previous locations. The roof of the first church was blown off by a storm, the second church was washed away by a flood while the third church also collapsed due to severe weather conditions.” Buildings built to the correct standards do not get washed away in a flood. We hope and pray those held captive will have an opportunity to leave before things get even more messy or more people lose their life.