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Collapsed Synagogue building is inconsistent with structural failure – witness

By Adebisi Onanuga


A Lagos Excessive Court sitting at Igbosere heard on Friday that the mode of collapse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) visitor home was inconsistent with structural defect.

A professor of building and structural engineering Patrick Nwankwo who said this in continuation of his proof on the collapsed visitor home of the church earlier than Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo.

Led in proof by the defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Professor Nwankwo stated a building with structural defect wouldn’t collapse like a pack of playing cards however will collapse partially or sink on one aspect.

“For a building with structural failure and defect, the mode of collapse should be gradual, it cannot be catastrophic or simultaneous because of the processes of hinges formation and the occupants will sufficiently notice cracks and deflections to enable them move out before it collapses. It is not possible for it to collapse like a park of cards as seen in the case of Synagogue”, Prof, Nwankwo insisted.

In line with the worldwide professor of building and structural engineering: “the synagogue guest house, with rigid frame structures, which had been completed over a year, the whole twelve frames could not have collapsed in the mode in which it happened, it would have been partial and never catastrophic as it seen”.
Nwankwo, who is the eighth defence witness within the on-going trials of the contractors and supervisors of the collapsed building which claimed over 100 lives on September 12, 2014 stated he carried out an impartial and thorough investigation on the collapsed visitor home of the church with the intention to get to the foundation of the trigger.

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Giving proof additional, Professor Nwanko stated he carried out structural evaluation utilizing Orion Design Software program modeling on the beams, columns, basis, anchorage, enlargement joints, inflexible zones and mechanism vis-a-vis the internationally accepted Codes of apply for engineering which is British Commonplace (BS) which all professionals within the discipline of engineering use guiding rules to reach at his conclusions.
Prof, Nwankwo demonstrated his findings clinically with energy factors and with customary codes for each facet of civil and buildings.

On beams and columns of the collapsed building, he stated: “the issue of slenderness was immaterial. There was no any under-reinforcement as the main beams, edge beams and columns were adequate and correct and as such couldn’t have been responsible for the collapse in any way”.

On the muse and anchorage of the collapsed building Prof. Nwankwo said: “ the muse, made from pad kind as advisable by the geo-technical evaluation on the soil, remained intact with out punching, deflection or tilting whereas the anchorage which was fixity kind, was satisfactory and adequate for the building and as such, couldn’t have been accountable in any manner for the collapse of the building”.

On the inflexible zones and enlargement joints, the erudite scholar stated: “the building was adequately provided with rigid zones with the two staircases, in-filled block walls and rigid frames while the expansion joint was unnecessary because expansion joint is a function of temperature and the temperatures in Lagos adequately accommodate the collapsed guest house and therefore could not have anything to do with the collapsed building of the church”.

On the controversial mechanism alleged to have occurred within the building by the prosecution, Nwankwo who had carried out completely different investigations on troubled buildings and dealt with many highrise buildings throughout the globe said that Mechanism didn’t happen on the building.

“Earlier than mechanism happens, there ought to be elasticity, yielding and plasticity of the weather and this was by no means the case within the collapsed Synagogue visitor home. In any other case, all exams carried out on the weather couldn’t have retained their unique energy which might by no means occur as soon as there is mechanism. Subsequently investigations clearly confirmed that the collapsed building was by no means structurally poor in any manner”, he stated.

Justice Lawal-Akapo has adjourned the hearing to December 13.


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