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Synagogue Collapsed Building: Defence Closes Case

The defendants in the collapsed Synagogue Church building closed their case at the weekend with the cross-examination of their last witness before an Igbosere High Court in Lagos.
At the resumed proceedings, the court heard that the mode of collapse of the church guesthouse defiled the characteristics of collapsed building with structural defects.
Professor Patrick Nwankwo stated this while being crossed examined by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr Yequob Oshoala.
Nwankwo, a professor of structural engineering and construction materials, an expert witness at the instance of Ogundeji, who is facing trial for the collapsed building as its supervising engineer before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo.
“Any defective building, whether emanating from under- or over-reinforcement, poor constructional materials among others will have a ductile type of collapse.

“That of Synagogue guest house was too catastrophic and such could only have been caused by an external factor,” he said.
Counsel to the first defendant, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), however, asked what he meant by “the type of collapse”, the professor clarified: “If defective or substandard materials were used, the mode of collapse would be ductile and gradual”.
He shared the views of the prosecution that a building with defective structural and substandard materials could lead to collapse.
He maintained, “Different mode of types of collapse is dependent on types of materials used.
“The characteristics of a building coming down on itself are different. If it is structural defect or use of defective materials, the mode of collapse will be ductile and gradual.
“This is not the case with the collapsed Synagogue church guest house. This building had about 12 frames. The frames, beams, columns would not all have collapsed at the same time. It can only happen by some external forces,” he said.
While responding to questions from the DPP, Nwankwo said he was motivated to conduct investigation on the collapsed Synagogue church building by its unusual mode of collapse, professional and academic concern, noting: “Engr Ogundeji is a known competent professional colleague whom I have known over time”.
Nwankwo, who said he conducted the investigation by visiting the place, asking questions, examining the various investigations already carried out and the technical drawings on the building stated that his reports submitted to the court was thorough in the integrity of the profession”.

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