The Coroner’s Inquest investigating the circumstances that led to the collapsed of a six-storey guest house belonging to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Friday admitted as exhibit a forensic report from the office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State.

The Report, entitled, ‘Report on the Collapsed Building in Synagogue Church of All Nations’ was admitted as exhibit after Professor John Obafunwa, the Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State adopted it as his final evidence before the court.

The Coroner’s inquest, presided over by Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe was set up 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 building collapse and brings its findings and recommendations to the appropriate authorities.

Obafunwa, who was being led in evidence by counsel to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran told the court that his task as the Chief Medical Examiner was to perform the autopsies in order to determine the cause of death and identify the victims, bearing in mind that a large percentage of the victims were foreign nationals, most of them South Africans.

“On September 30, 2014, we concluded the post mortem examinations. The samples for DNA examination were sent to Unistel Laboratory, South Africa about two weeks afterwards.

“The delay was largely due to bureaucracy and getting the importation license from the government of South Africa.

“The first set of DNA and fingerprinting results were sent to me on November 3, 2014. Thereafter, an identification committee was setup.

“At this time, 74 South Africans (as well as few from Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, etc) were identified and subsequently released to the South African Authority on Saturday November 15, 2014.

“Again, the identification committee sat on February 4, 2015 following the receipt of other results from South Africa. During this time, another 11 South Africans were identified and again released to their authority on February 5, 2015 thus concluding the release of a total of eight five (85) victims of South African origin.

“The respective death certificates as well as embalmment certificates were also handed over to the South African authority. In addition to these figures, 25 others (comprising 22 Nigerians, 2 Benenois and 1 Togolses) were identified and released, bringing the total number of deceased individuals to 110.

“There are six (6) bodies left in the morgues (3 each in Isolo and Yaba mortuaries) that are yet to be identified.

“In summary, the victims of the building collapse comprise 60 males, and 56 females; among the male victims was a child allegedly aged 6 years.

“The distribution of the causes of death is as follows: 56 Multiple injuries, 19 Traumatic asphyxia, 19 Exsanguination, 12 Severe craniocerebral injury, 9 Haemothorax following multiple rib fractures and 1 Congestive cardiac failure following hypertensive heart disease.

“The varying injuries seen on the victims are consistent with blunt force trauma that would normally be sustained from a collapsed building”, Obafunwa said.

Another witness, Engineer Oladele Ogundeji, The consultant, who supervised the construction of the collapsed guesthouse informed the court that the collapsed building was a year old before the disaster.

Ogundeji, a structural building engineer insisted that all the materials used on the collapsed guesthouse met the require standards.

“The building collapsed as a result of movement which could be in form of sub-structure or super-structure. The building did not collapse due to structural failure”, Ogundeji said.

News Reporter