TB Joshua, the “chief mourner” is missing from remembrance service

Ex wiseman Racine reading out TB Joshua's address

Ex wiseman Racine reading out TB Joshua’s address

Today marks the one year anniversary of the tragic disaster at SCOAN that claimed 116 lives. One of the many excuses TB Joshua gave for not fulfilling his civic duty of appearing in court when summoned was that he was the “chief mourner” and was too busy tending to the needs to the families. As the “chief mourner” you would think he would be eager to be present for the one year remembrance service wouldn’t you? Not only was he not present, he didn’t even personally deliver his address, it was read out by ex-wiseman Racine. You can listen to the address in this video or read it on facebook. Wiseman Racine claims that TB Joshua would have loved to have been there in person, but due to security concerns he could not be. This seems an unlikely excuse, but even if this was the case, couldn’t he have done a live video/phone linkup like he used to do when he had international branches? Or at the very least he could have pre-recorded himself personally delivering the message instead of getting a minion to read it out. Of course we know the real reason he wasn’t there, in person or on camera is that he’s not even on the African continent right now, but he doesn’t want anyone to know.

Shortly after the building collapse he announced that he would be visiting South Africa every week in memory of the “martyrs”, and that this instruction was a “revelation from God” (7:10 and 9:04 in this video). Since this statement TB Joshua has not visited South Africa once (at least not in the capacity he described), not even for the one year remembrance service. Why was he disobedient to God’s command? Why did he lie to the victims families?

Meanwhile Kirsten Nematandani, SCOAN’s spokesman in South Africa (with his own shady past) has insisted that “The truth will come out one day, that’s what the man of God has said. Government will go deep into the matter because surely there are answers that are left hanging. Time shall tell.” (source). We’ve got news for you Kirsten, the truth came out back in July, everyone outside of SCOAN supporters know exactly what caused the collapse, the only answer left hanging is when the government are going to take action.

Here we have lie upon lie, coverup upon coverup. To those in SCOAN who know the deception that’s going on and are being used as pawns in this game, when are you going to wake up and remember the 9th commandment – do not bear false witness? Whatever you think you’ve seen or think you’re involved with, don’t let that distort and erode your God given moral compass. Lies come from the father of all lies, so as those who claim to follow “the way, the truth and the life”, it is your responsibility to be instruments of truth, exposing lies and deception.

Confusion mounts as TB Joshua’s absence reaches 3 months

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace” 1 Cor 14:33a

TB Joshua

TB Joshua, the runaway prophet

TB Joshua has not appeared at SCOAN Lagos since the 3rd May and no explanation has been given by SCOAN. Sunday services are visibly depleted with no overflow congregation and little to no use of the balconies. Various news sources have reported the devastating effect his absence has had on the economy of the area around SCOAN HQ. Even pro-TB Joshua sources are showing signs of confusion. TB Joshua Fans UK and TB Joshua sponsored “reporters” Ihechukwu Njoku and Nosa Osazuwa have all published articles on the matter, acknowledging the drop in numbers but not showing any signs that they know the whereabouts of the runaway prophet.

Over a month ago we exclusively revealed that TB Joshua had not left Mexico after his crusade, remaining in Latin America to wait out the results of the court case, out of the reach of Nigerian authorities. Since then we’ve not seen any evidence that he’s returned, although we have not been able to confirm one way or another.

You could be forgiven for wondering why TB Joshua is still in hiding when it seems likely that he will only get a slap on the wrist and a $1250 fine. The problem he faces is that as an infallible man of God, the messiah of our time, Jesus of our generation and the one sent by God as a sign of his love for humankind, he can’t be seen to be making mistakes, let alone mistakes that led to the deaths of 116 people, accusations of criminal negligence and worldwide news coverage. That’s why SCOAN are so determined not to accept the coroners conclusion even if it does only come with a $1250 fine, paying that fine would be an admission of fault. That’s why SCOAN supporters are desperately grasping at straws trying to find alternative explanations for the building collapse to the litany of structural failings revealed in the coroner’s report. That’s why TB Joshua is unlikely to come out of hiding to face the music anytime soon. Messiah’s don’t make mistakes.

In the meantime, we’ve not heard anything credible or conclusive since the Mexico revelation, but various rumours abound. A keen viewer of Emmanuel TV noticed that some of his close confidants who were also missing since Mexico have recently returned to Lagos, does that mean he has too? Others have heard rumours that he is covertly setting up a new ministry and that SCOAN would be abandoned. Then there was the (slightly dubious) news article that claimed he was moving SCOAN HQ to Ondo in his home state, possibly leaving Lagos as a branch, or closing it altogether.

To TB Joshua’s disciples:

You have spent many of your best years sincerely believing that you were serving God under the mentor-ship of a great man of God, you have made uncountable sacrifices for the sake of this ministry. You have no doubt become so conditioned to the frequent lies, deception and misdirection employed by SCOAN that you hardly notice it. Hopefully this current haze of confusion about the future of SCOAN will awaken you to the fact that TB Joshua is not a pious man of God being persecuted, but a criminal escaping justice and refusing to take responsibility for his actions. There is no doubt about it, TB Joshua is going down. Whether he ends up being incarcerated remains to be seen, but his name is forever tarnished with the blood of 116 people who made huge sacrifices to visit him hoping for a miracle, but instead returned in coffins. The time to get out is now, SCOAN is crumbling, the longer you stay the more painful the exit will be. There are friends and family that long to see you, you will be welcomed with open arms. If money for air tickets is a problem, get in contact, there are people who can provide. If access to your passport is a problem, you only need to get to your nearest embassy for help.

Will SCOAN get away with a paltry $1250 fine?

A few eagle eyed journalists have spotted a subtle discrepancy between the recent announcement from Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the recommendation of the coroner. The Coroner recommended that SCOAN and the contractor should be prosecuted for criminal negligence, the statement from the governor said that “the state government would prosecute the Synagogue Church of All Nations for neglecting to obtain building approval before commencing the building”. Journalist Nicholas Ibekwe (the same guy who exposed TB Joshua bribing journalists) explained what he expected this to mean:

Perhaps we’ll be seeing TB Joshua’s return from Mexico soon?

Must read: What the coroner really said about TB Joshua’s death trap building

The September 12th building collapse killed 116 people

The September 12th building collapse killed 116 people

Thanks to a well connected reader, we have managed to get our hands on the official Coroner’s report on the September 12th building collapse at SCOAN. It makes for interesting reading alongside SCOAN’s official statement. What we discover is that SCOAN’s statement is a mixture of lies padded out with a great deal of irrelevant but misleading information. The report is far more comprehensive and conclusive than SCOAN would like you to believe, it leaves the reader in no doubt that the building collapsed due to not one, but multiple structural deficiencies. We have numbered SCOAN’s statements below and respond to each in turn with information from the Coroner’s report. The full report with victim details redacted is embedded at the end of this post.

The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) rejects the verdict of the coroner on the grounds that it is unreasonable, one-sided and biased. The church maintains its stand that the incident was as a result of sabotage.

From the verdict given today, we would like the public to take note of the following:

1) There was no finding that the church engaged the services of unqualified or incompetent professionals for the construction of the building.

Misleading: While it is true that the coroner’s report did not directly accuse SCOAN of using unqualified or incompetent professionals, the report states that three separate government agencies found the structure to be inadequate in numerous ways (see response to statement #6 for more details), so you could deduce from this that the contractors were either unqualified, incompetent or criminal.

2) There was no finding that the church procured substandard materials for the construction of the building, as confirmed by officials of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) who gave evidence at the coroner and certified the materials used were all approved and of good quality.

Misleading: The report did not explicitly accuse the church of procuring substandard materials, but procuring good quality materials that are inadequate for the job is just as bad, for example reinforcing a column using 10 x Y20 bars instead of the required 12 x Y25 (see response to statement #6 for more details).

3) There was evidence that the church had started processing the relevant building approval before the incident, which had been approved and assessed for payment by the appropriate government bodies.

False: The report claims that SCOAN has only ever received approval for one building, the auditorium in 2004, and even that now has an additional 3 floors and an engine room without approval (Ref: Section 6.00). It seems unlikely that the church had started to process the building approval for the collapsed building before the incident, but even if it were true it would not exonerate them because they were already using the building without approval.

4) There was no finding that connected the incident with the lack of a building permit.

Misleading: This statement is ridiculous, how could the lack of a building permit directly cause a building to collapse? They know full well the relevance of the building permit.

5) There was no finding that church members prevented the statutory responders from carrying out their rescue duties.

Possibly true: During the rescue operation, National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) spokesman Ibrahim Farinloye told the press that “The church is not co-operating with emergency workers at all, for the first three days of the incident, the church people were very hostile and prevented rescue officials access to the site. It was after the visit of the (Lagos state) governor (Babatunde Fashola) when he threatened to close down the church that we were allowed to work. Perhaps if we had had early access to the place we would have been able to save more lives.” However, SCOAN strongly denied this, and it was not mentioned at all in the coroner’s report.

6) The church disagrees most vehemently with the finding that the incident was due to structural failure. The church considers it strange that the coroner did not refer in its verdict to the evidence of the COREN-registered structural engineer and contractor used by the church nor did it evaluate the conflicting evidence given by civil and structural engineers as to whether or not the incident was as a result of structural failure.

Misleading: Section 5.01 of the coroner’s report does contain a statement from Engr. Dr. Joseph I. Folayan, FNSE, FA Eng who was summoned to court at the request of SCOAN, it is not clear if this is the COREN-registered structural engineer their statement refers to, but it’s difficult to imagine any evidence having countered the substantial evidence pointing to structural failure as the cause of the collapse. For example, 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
Pack_of_lies_from_SCOAN_-_Google_Docs

One of the photos of the “suspicious” plane. The building to the right is the one that collapsed.

7) It was a one-sided verdict which left many issues unaddressed and questions unanswered. The church disagrees with the findings concerning the aircraft that hovered over the six-storey building because there was evidence before the court that the incident could have been brought about by external forces such as controlled demolition or an explosion.

False: The report addressed the aircraft, the infrasonic weapon theory and the controlled demolition theory. It is completely false and misleading to claim any of these possibilities were unaddressed, over 3 pages were dedicated to these claims. The aircraft was identified along with its altitude and flight path. The aircraft was flying at an altitude of 1100 feet, equivalent to 109 floors, meaning the aircraft was 103 floors higher than the 6 storey building. Additionally, the flight path shows a horizontal distance of 137 metres between the plane and the building at its closest point. From this they concluded that contrary to SCOAN reports, “[there was] no direct hovering of the aircraft over the subject site that would have caused the collapse of the building”.

As for the infrasonic weapon, this madcap theory was dismissed because the witness had only read about this kind of weapon in books, had not practiced or witnessed the use of the weapon and could not show how it could have caused the collapsed building to come down. What else were the court meant to do with such a bizarre theory?

Regarding the possibility controlled demolition or an explosion, The Lagos State Fire Service carried out a 360 degrees survey and found no evidence of explosives. The Investigating Police Officer said there was no evidence of the use of explosives at the site of the collapsed building, nor perception of any smell of explosives. The Chief Medical Examiner said there was no trace of carbon monoxide seen in the lungs of the deceased and none of the bodies were charred or burnt (Ref 5.00).

8) The verdict did not even refer to the CCTV footage which showed the 6-storey building falling in less than 4 seconds – a manner consistent with controlled or externally induced demolition – nor did it refer to the interim report and investigation by the Nigerian police force which pointed to sabotage by external forces.

False: The NBRRI specifically mentioned the vertical collapse shown in the CCTV footage stating that “…the building failed as a result of the ground columns yielding due to excessive weight on the 750mm by 300mm columns and the 10 x Y20mm bars as measured on the site and evident by the vertical collapse of the building captured by the CCTV of the Synagogue Church”. The BCPG report said that a sudden and complete collapse was inevitable because the building was not robust or stable enough (Ref 5.01b), and that a column failure by buckling can result in a sudden collapse like the one witnessed, more so because there were no rigid zones within the structure (Ref 5.01e). Regarding the possibility of controlled demolition, see response to statement #7.

9) The church also disagrees with the finding that foundation failure was a remote cause because that is contrary to the overwhelming expert evidence of the structural engineers invited to the coroner who eliminated foundation failure as a possible cause.

Misleading: Foundation failure was only a small factor out of many structural failures, and it’s not even mentioned as a primary cause. See response to statement #6 for more details.

10) The recommendation for the investigation and prosecution of the contractors and structural engineers used by the church for criminal negligence is premature because it gives the impression the coroner has found them guilty when a coroner is not allowed in law to make any finding of civil or criminal liability against anybody.

Possibly true: Although the coroner’s report showed substantial evidence that SCOAN and the contractor were criminally negligent, the coroner arguably overstepped his authority by calling for SCOAN to be prosecuted. Perhaps someone better versed in Nigerian law could comment further on this?

11) The recommendation for the investigation of The SCOAN for not possessing the relevant building permits is unwarranted because it did not take into account the evidence that the church had started processing the relevant building approval before the incident. As a matter of fact, the amount payable for the processing had already been assessed by the appropriate government agencies.

Misleading, probably false: As mentioned in response to statement #3, no other building on the SCOAN campus had up to date approval, so this seems unlikely, but even if true it is irrelevant. They were housing guests in a building prior to receiving approval.

12) The recommendation that statutory responders should be adequately equipped was informed by the fact that the statutory responders who carried out rescue operations in this case were ill-equipped and ill-trained, and that it was the church that mobilised human and material resources to ensure a successful rescue operation.

Misleading: This line is just scapegoating. There is a clear disconnect between the accounts of SCOAN and the emergency responders, but it was clear that SCOAN were in full “cover-up mode” in the first few days after the tragedy, so their statements should be taken with a bucketful of salt. Ultimately, regardless of how prepared or not the emergency responders were, the coroner’s report makes it clear that the disaster they were trying to respond to was caused by the criminal negligence of SCOAN, let’s not allow SCOAN to deflect blame here.

13) Finally, the coroner recognised that the conduct of the investigation of the incident was compromised by the failure of the appropriate government agencies to take necessary steps to secure and preserve the scene of the incident, which calls into question the integrity and reliability of the entire investigation.

Misleading: It’s difficult to imagine who they needed to secure the scene of the incident from if not SCOAN themselves. Nevertheless, the findings related to the structural integrity of the building could not have been compromised by a poorly preserved site. Are they wanting us to believe that foundations were reduced in size and reinforcing bars were removed in order to implicate SCOAN and cover up the real cause of the collapse? The fact that SCOAN attempt to use this minor and irrelevant point to call into question the integrity and reliability of the entire investigation is shocking and revealing as it shows how desperate they are to bury this.

14) We repeat: No matter how long a lie is sustained, the truth will someday prevail!

Truth! Finally, this is something we wholeheartedly agree on, and the coroner’s report is a great step in the right direction. Support for SCOAN is rapidly eroding as people see how much they have been misleading the general public.

What happens next?

Just days ago, Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode released a statement supporting the coroner’s recommendation and vowing to prosecute SCOAN and the contractor. The big question that remains unanswered is: Why are the government still allowing SCOAN to operate? The structural integrity of the collapsed building had been so seriously compromised by poor building practices, why should we believe that the other buildings are safe? The report specifically states that no building on the SCOAN compound had approval, except for the auditorium which had since had three additional floors and an engine room built without approval. Every building on the site could be as much of a deathtrap as the doomed one was, why does the government still allow thousands of people to gather there each week?

SCOAN lies exposed on Nigerian “Channels TV”

Nigeria’s Channels TV have done a great job of covering the SCOAN disaster in a balanced and thorough way. In an extensive hour long interview, SCOAN spokesman Ken Emeakayi (a former politician who was allegedly once kidnapped but rescued thanks to the anointed water) wilted under the questions put to him by the presenters and viewers. His words were a mixture of blatant lies, and bold definitive statements that will most likely soon be exposed as lies. For example:

Blatant lies

  • CCTV clearly shows the plane was a Hercules C-130 and it hovered less than 40’ from the building (First of all, a plane cannot hover and wasn’t shown to hover in the video, second if the plane was as large as a C-130, then it was considerably further away than 40′)
  • Building fell down between 5 to 15 minutes after the plane last hovered, in fact their own CCTV footage shows it to be nearly an hour, to which he claims “it is not possible” (Part 5, first section). See screenshots below, and compare for yourself on the Emmanuel TV youtube channel.

    Proof that it was 50 minutes between the last flyover of an aircraft and the building collapse

    Proof that it was 50 minutes between the last flyover of an aircraft and the building collapse

  • No building in the world has ever fallen down like this all by itself (The presenter is quick to rubbish this ridiculous claim), it must have been a controlled explosion.
  • In these days of modern technology, explosions don’t always make a noise.
  • We were not doing any construction work on the auditorium. The only work being done was on interiors, the exterior and structure was complete (see photo showing scaffolding, missing windows and unrendered exterior)Pack_of_lies_from_SCOAN_-_Google_Docs

Bold statements, likely to be exposed as lies

  • We had approval for 12 floors, the authorities have come and inspected the foundations and found they were suitable for a 12 storey building.
  • We have provided all approval documentation to the authorities (the authorities claim they’ve provided nothing)
  • The sound of the explosion was captured by the CCTV (then why wasn’t it on the video they released and why is he talking about new “silent explosions”?!)

He was evasive with the truth for the entire interview. When asked about the allegation that TB Joshua bribed journalists to only report those who survived, not the deaths, he claimed he knew nothing of it, and that it was impossible it would have happened (he’s either lying or kept so isolated from outside news sources that he’s genuinely not aware that his master was caught on tape bribing journalists).

When asked 4 times how many people had died, he refused to give an answer, saying that wasn’t the job of the church. Again, SCOAN are trying desperately to ignore that fact that multitudes died on their site.

We commend the presenters on Channels TV for asking the hard questions that should be on everyone’s mind, for example:

  • Don’t planes often fly over this area?
  • How do you know it’s the same aircraft?
  • There are multiple guest houses, why did the plane target this specific one, that happened to be under construction?
  • Why would the “man of God” have been expected to be in that guest house when the supposed attempt on his life took place?
  • If you know that you have done nothing wrong and you have the proof, what have you got to worry about?
  • The CCTV that captured the plane hovering – did the same CCTV capture when those explosives were put in there? Did you see those who planted it?
  • CCTV Video appears to show helicopter, photo clearly shows a C-130 plane. They are two different aircraft.
  • You have said multiple times that the aircraft was hovering, but the CCTV clips just show it following a path near the building, coming and going. It’s not hovering, or circling.
  • Don’t you think you’re exaggerating the aircraft issue?
  • Why would an aircraft be needed to detonate the explosives? Isn’t that quite an indiscreet way of doing it?

What a shame Mr Emeakayi was either unwilling or unable to give a coherent answer to any of these questions. We’ll close with the words of a commenter from the Channels TV site that sums up our feelings very well:

I listened to the guy’s cock-and-bull on Channels TV Sunrise programme in the morning. It was too good to be true. I couldn’t believe his blank yet persistent attempt at deception. He couldn’t even convince himself! I am shocked at the length men can go to deviously manipulate others in the name of Christ. I can’t blame them. I blame those who would rather believe the flowery lies of preachers/false preachers without cross checking with the Bible. THAT GUY WAS A BAD LIAR.

Full interview (5 parts)

Ex-disciple Gareth reflects on the SCOAN tragedy

Workers and visitors were housed in this unfinished building before it collapsed.

Workers and visitors were housed in this unfinished building before it collapsed.

I am sickened by the horrific loss of life at SCOAN. My heart bleeds for the injured and those who have lost loved ones. The responsibility for these deaths is with TB Joshua – he sees himself above the law and this tragedy is an awful culmination of his meglomania.

Nigeria, let justice be done. Bangladesh (hardly the bastion of transparency) handled the case of the Rena Plaza building collapse much better – a case was filed against the owners THE NEXT DAY. Why haven’t cases been filed against TB Joshua and SCOAN? Why are journalists and politicians even discussing the “unknown aircraft”?

Lets look at some of the bizarre events following the tragedy:

NEMA officials were prevented from accessing the site for 3 days.
This is criminal in itself. Why would it happen? TB Joshua see’s himself above the law and wanted to control the story. He was far more concerned about his appearance than the potential to save lives. Press and cameramen were also driven away for the same reason. Why on earth would you fight away the press and rescue officials unless you had something to hide?

TB Joshua denied the above with a cryptic statement. But who’s word do we take? Several independent witnesses or TB Joshua? My experience with TB Joshua has taught me to never take him at his word – always look at the actions. There is a huge difference between what he says and what he (or his followers) do. For example: “The church members however remained hostile to journalists despite the apology by Mr. Joshua“.

“A building, not the church auditorium as was reported, “The few people that were there are being rescued…”
This first “official” statement is wrong on so many levels. They knew there were many people in the building including large South African groups. They knew those people were missing. They knew because all of those visitors had paid to stay at the church. This statement is TB Joshua trying desperately to control the story – again with absolutely no regard to the victims or their families. He was more concerned that people thought his church auditorium had collapsed. The statement doesn’t even make sense – this is proof positive that it was directly from TB Joshua. If you’ve ever heard him speak, you know that he speaks in cryptic half sentences.

The Sunday Church Service continued as normal
I just don’t understand this. How can TB Joshua, all dolled up with make-up have a service as if nothing had happened. While people were still trapped just metres away! The service should have been cancelled to ensure the emergency services could operate effectively. But TB Joshua wanted to try and control the story. Sunday was his chance to try and blame Boko Haram and UFOs.

I could go on, but I’m sick. Lives are lost and this man is playing the media.
Please shout for justice to be done.

Pressure mounts on Nigerian authorities to #arrestTBJoshua

SCOAN-Collapse-2

The collapse building that killed 115+ people

The final death toll for the SCOAN building collapse is now at 115. The building was illegally constructed, with a further 3 floors added without approval. Furthermore – it now transpires that the building didn’t even have “Occupiers Liability Insurance”, something that is required by law for public buildings.

Section 65(1) of Insurance Act, 2003 provides that “Every public building shall be insured with a registered insurer against the hazards of collapse, fire, earthquake, storm and flood.”

Despite having blatantly broken the law in a way that killed 115 people, and maimed many more, TB Joshua remains a free man. A growing number of people believe this is unacceptable and are putting pressure on the Nigerian authorities to demonstrate that TB Joshua is not above the law.

Open letter from 5 Nigerian academics

5 Nigerian academics signed an open letter saying it was time to arrest and prosecute TB Joshua because:

Mr. Joshua has done everything humanly possible to cover up the truth about this tragedy. First, in the first three days after the incident, he illegally barred officials of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) from accessing the site and rescuing survivors. Second, while this illegal interdiction was in effect, Mr. Joshua attempted to dictate the narrative and deflect possible culpability by blaming the incident on a mysterious ‘small plane’ which had purportedly hovered above his church complex moments before the collapse. Third, as public anger mounted in South Africa, Mr. Joshua declared the dead ‘martyrs of faith’ and sought to change the subject by promising to ‘take his teachings’ to the country every month for the foreseeable future. Fourth, an audio recording has just emerged of Mr. Joshua paying a gathering of journalists N50, 000 each in exchange for suppressing the truth and privileging his version of events. The recording, whose authenticity has not been challenged, was released by Mr. Nicholas Ibekwe, a Premium Times correspondent who was present at the meeting.

They then turn their attention to the Nigerian authorities

If Mr. Joshua has comported himself as one above the law, it is precisely because the Nigerian state has offered him every license. […] The site should have been barricaded by the relevant authorities—the police, town planning, etc.— to secure evidence, given that the presumption ought to be that even if it is not immediately clear that a crime has been committed, something definitely has been remiss in the entire tragedy. Getting to the root of the matter should be the only concern next to solicitations for the welfare of the survivors.

They conclude

Mr. Joshua is a person of interest, not for his callousness, but for his cynical and persistent attempts to obliterate the truth and pervert the course of justice.

Lawyer accuses Lagos state of giving TB Joshua preferential treatment

Human rights lawyer Samuel Ilori points out that

Section 74(1) of the Physical Planning and Development Law of Lagos State states inter alia that at any time there is a collapsed building within the state. Wherever it is discovered that there is a negligence on the part of the owner or the developer, that land will be confiscated and whoever is at the other side of the law will be prosecuted. […] Every other collapsed building in Lagos State have been taken over immediately evacuation has been done. So all these time that they are trying to buy for the man, we are not going to wait. (source)

Illori wants TB Joshua charged with culpable homicide, because “he knew very well that that foundation that contain two storey building cannot take six storey building, yet he allowed it to go on”. He has written to the Lagos state governor, giving him 7 days to take necessary action:

Failure to which we will be left with no other option than to approach the competent court of jurisdiction for an order of mandamus for your good office to implement the law you signed in 2010 without delay. (source)

Families of South African victims intend to sue

A South African man who lost his sister in the tragedy has written an open letter calling on other families who lost loved ones to unite and:

  1. Advocate for the banning of TB Joshua from visiting South Africa and SADC,
  2. Advocate for the betterment of the lives of the children orphaned by the heart-breaking but deliberate collapse of that building,
  3. Educate individuals and communities on early identification of tendencies of being possessed working in partnership with the faith community,
  4. Unite and advocate for the de-registration of Emmanuel TV by ICASA
  5. Advocate for the suspension of what’s left of the ‘diplomatic ties’ between Nigeria and South Africa until an investigation is concluded on the collapse of that building and conviction of TB Joshua (as the person who bears the ultimate responsibility for his church) is done,
  6. Institute civil claims against TB Joshua.

The BBC are reporting that at least one other family has joined his cause, and they are preparing to take legal action against TB Joshua.

ANC Youth League say TB Joshua should be denied visa for South Africa

Nine days after the disaster, when TB Joshua finally started showing sympathy for the dead, he pledged to visit South Africa every month in honour of the victims. We would be very suprised if he kept his word, especially after he so quickly forgot his pledge to personally take annointed water to Ebola affected countries. However, if he does follow through with the pledge, the ANC Youth League are doing everything in their power to ensure he isn’t allowed to enter the country:

“TB Joshua should not be allowed to come to South Africa until we know what happened to our fellow countrymen at his church, We will make sure we engage with the department of international relations and co-operation to make sure they do not issue him with a South African visa.” (source)

Conclusion

It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next few days, and there are encouraging signs that the pressure is being felt by the authorities, there are reports that the investigation is moving forward and that the outcome could be TB Joshua being charged with culpable homicide. There is a part of us that has sympathy for the government, prosecuting him will not be easy given the huge number of dedicated followers he has. Already some are saying that even if he is imprisoned, this will only put him in the same category as the apostles who were also imprisoned (though I don’t recall any being imprisoned for causing the death of 115 people). However difficult this situation may be, it is hard to see any justification for the closed door meetings with Lagos governor, the president visiting to “commiserate” with TB Joshua, or the fact that services are still going on at SCOAN despite evidence that other buildings are illegally constructed. Let’s pray that justice is done, and the bereaved families get the answers that they are seeking.