The Structural Building engineer who supervised the construction of the collapsed Synagogue Church Of All Nations’ building, Engr. Oladele Ogundeji, said on Friday that the Lagos State Material Testing Agency certified its foundation.
The six-storey building within the premises of SCOAN had on September 12, 2014 collapsed, killing 116 persons.
Ogundeji testified before the coroner’s inquest set up by the Lagos State Government to determine the cause of the victims’ death.
Ogundeji, who said he obtained his training in Building Technology and Building Engineering in Yugoslavia, overruled foundational defect as a possible cause of the collapse of the building, which he said had 28 columns.
According to him, the direction and the speed of the fall of the building were not consistent with structural failure.
“According to the drawing and based on the geotechnical reports, the foundations were okay. This project is a technological cause, it can be verified.
“Now, when we were working on site, we did not envisage that something like this would happen but after the collapse, an agency of the state, the Lagos State Material Testing Agency came to the site, they instructed that three bases should be excavated, they took some samples and carried out laboratory tests. They came out with the result; the concrete pad footing passed the test, the reinforcement passed the test and the columns passed the test. Apart from this, the foundation on site that the six-storey building stood upon are still there, they are intact, no rotation and no tilting,” Ogundeji said.
He maintained that in spite of the stress as a result of the collapse the foundation still passed the test conducted by the Lagos State Material Testing Agency, adding that the results were already in the custody of the court.
Asked what would be the signs of a building that collapsed as a result of foundational compromise, Ogundeji said there would have been cracks in both the foundation and the wall, adding that the building would have been tilting weeks before its eventually collapse.
Demonstrating through a schematic diagram of board, Ogundeji said, “If it is a structural failure, the whole building would not come down suddenly on no account and when it is coming down it would be gradual, it may take days, weeks or months and it can take 10 years and there will be cracks that even a layman will see it.
”The witness also tendered before the court the structural and architectural designs of the collapsed building, which were accordingly accepted and marked as exhibits by the coroner, Magistrate O.A. Komolafe.
Ogundeji, while telling the court that the construction followed best practices, said a soil test was conducted before the project kicked off. He added that though his client was responsible for the supply of building materials, he was,however, the one who gave the specification and suggested the supplier.
He named Dangote as the brand of cement used adding that every bag of cement procured was used within two weeks of manufacture because the site storage room was small.