Law News
Synagogue Tragedy: Police Identify Hovering Aircraft, Insist There was Sabotage


The Nigeria Police have identified the aircraft which allegedly hovered around the collapsed six-storey guest house belonging to The Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN) to be a CH 130 Hercules belonging to the Nigerian Air Force.

A police investigator, DSP Olushola Agboyi, who is of the Homicide Section and Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, disclosed this on Wednesday while testifying before the coroner’s inquest investigating the building collapse incident.

The inquest, led by Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, was inaugurated by the Lagos State Government under the state Coroner’s System Law No.7 of 2007 to investigate the cause and circumstances resulting in the death of 166 people following the collapse of the six-storey guest house and bring its findings and recommendations to the appropriate authorities.

Led in evidence by the police counsel, Mr. Chukwu Agwu, the witness told the inquest that the aircraft was on a circuit training mission and was flying very low.

DSP Agboyi also insisted that the building collapse could have been an act of sabotage, though adding that the saboteur, undetected, could have used explosives or chemical substances to bring down the building.

He said the preliminary reports suggested that the collapse could have been caused by internal sabotage from lodgers or visitors to the church.

According to the witness, the Bomb Disposal Unit of the Police visited the scene of the incident but was yet to present its report.

Agboyi said he interviewed one of the survivors, Mr. Taiwo Temitayo Taiwo, who claimed he heard a thunderous noise and saw lightening moments before the building came crashing.

The witness said after watching the CCTV footages of the incident, he was of the view that it was consistent with controlled demolitions.

“The building came down in seconds. From the analysis of experts, the collapse looked like controlled demolition. It should be subjected to the testing of experts outside the country.

“I recorded statements from 34 witnesses who claimed the aircraft was flying very low and had caused panic among residents of the Ikotun area,” Agboyi added.

The witness also noted that the police did not rule out the possibility of structural defects as being responsible for the collapse.

He said they wrote to the Lagos State Ministry of Works to analyse the materials used in its construction, adding that they were still awaiting the report.

The witness further explained that the federal government inter-agency panel investigating the incident was yet to conclude its findings.

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