A survivor of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) building that collapsed on September 12, 2014 killing 116 worshippers, on Thursday told a Lagos High Court in Igbosere that the church had been fending for dependents of the victims.

Defence witness, Mr Taiwo Taiwo, testified before Justice Lawal-Akapo, during continuation of trial of four defendants – two engineers and their firms – for the deaths.

The defendants are: Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun charged alongside their companies – Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Ltd.

They are facing a 110-count charge of involuntary manslaughter which contravened Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

A fifth defendant, the Registered Trustees of SCOAN is facing a count of building without approval.

The Lagos State Government said the Trustees violated Section 75 of the Urban and Regional Planning Law of Lagos State 2010.

All defendants were arraigned on April 19, 2016. They pleaded ‘not guilty’.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Thursday, Taiwo, who identified himself as a SCOAN volunteer guest worker, said “the church has never failed at any time to carry out its obligations,” towards the dependants of the deceased.

The witness, led by Olalekan Ojo SAN during evidence-in-chief, told Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo that he arrived at the collapsed building at about 12noon before the incident occurred.

“I was unconscious and was only rescued a day after the incident,” Taiwo said.

He added that he felt burning sensation on his back and when he opened his eyes, the environment was dark.
Following the conclusion of his testimony, Justice Lawal-Akapo, adjourned till January 25, for continuation of trial.

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