Following the coroner’s inquest which pronounced the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and its contractor criminally negligent and recommended their prosecution over the collapse of a guest house owned by the church, leading to the death of 116 people last year, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday said that his administration would enforce the verdict of the coroner in “consonance with the rule of law”.
The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said his government would uphold and enforce the sanctity of the law in the state, just as he urged residents of the state to also respect the rule of law.
“The governor hereby reiterates his government’s commitment to uphold and enforce the sanctity of the law in the state and calls on all Lagos residents to respect the rule of law,” the statement said.
To this end, he said the coroner’s verdict of July 7, 2015 made a number of recommendations, which the state government would act upon accordingly.
The governor said that one of the provisions of the Coroner Law 2007 is the provision that empowers a coroner to commence an inquest to find out the cause and manner of death, which occur in an unusual manner.
He said that consequent upon the collapse at the premises of Synagogue Church building, the state government applied that a coroner’s inquest be commenced into the cause of the tragic deaths.
The governor said the state government “will cause the prosecution of the contractor, Mr. Akinbela Fatiregun of Hardrock Engineering Company Limited and Structural Engineer, Oladele Ogundeji, who constructed and supervised the collapsed building respectively at the Synagogue Church of All Nations for professional negligence”.
The governor said that the state government would also prosecute the church for neglecting to obtain a building approval before commencing the building, contrary to the provisions of the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2010.
Ambode appealed to residents of the state to always allow emergency responders perform their duties in times of emergency, as they are trained for this purpose.
“He enjoined land owners within the state who intend to embark on construction to employ the services of qualified and competent engineers who must obtain building permit before construction,” the statement added.
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