Synagogue building engineers in Nigeria remanded

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Two Synagogue building engineers in Nigeria who were contracted to construct the seven-storey guest house for the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) that collapsed, were remanded at Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos on Tuesday

In giving the ruling, an Ikeja High Court said the two should be kept behind bars awaiting the determination of the charges against them.

Engineers Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun had earlier pleaded not guilty to a 111-count charge touching on gross negligence and criminal manslaughter.

The prosecution team under the leadership of the Director, Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Idowu Alakija said the accused committed the offences between Aug. 20 and September 2013.

In her account, the accused According undertook the construction of the   seven-storey building at the church in Ikotun-Egbe in Ikotun area of Lagos with total disregard for human lives.

The guest house collapsed on Sept. 12, 2014 and led to the death of 116 persons, 85 of who were South Africans.

The Coroner’s Inquest set up by the Lagos State Government had in its findings on July 8, 2015 said the building collapsed because of structural failure due to a combination of designs and detailing mistakes.

The inquest ordered for the investigation of Synagogue church and prosecution by the relevant authorities for failing to acquire the necessary building permits, while the two engineers should be charged for criminal negligence.

The arraignment of the accused by the Lagos State Government had been continuously delayed by the defense through several requests for adjournments and filing of various applications before the court.

During earlier proceedings on Tuesday, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo dismissed two separate applications of E.L. Akpofure (SAN) and Titi Akinlawon (SAN)

Mrs. Akinlawon had asked for an adjournment of the hearing pending her application at the Court of Appeal.