Wednesday, October 29, 2014 3:59 pm
The Coroner investigating the collapse of a guest house belonging to Pastor T.B. Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), said on Wednesday that the list of lodgers had been submitted to the court.
Mr Oyetade Komolafe announced this at the resumption of proceedings at the Inquest set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate the Sept.12 incident, which killed 116 persons.
The coroner said the church, in compliance with the court’s directive, forwarded a comprehensive list of all persons who were lodged at the building before it collapsed.
He said a copy of the list would be made available to Prof. John Obafunwa, the Consultant Pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner of Lagos State.
Obafunwa had on Oct.16 written a letter to the church, demanding for the list to help the pathologists to identify the victims.
Testifying on Wednesday, Obafunwa, who was being cross-examined by the church’s counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, confirmed that majority of the victims were South Africans.
Obafunwa, however, noted that the pathologists from South Africa did not participate in the autopsies conducted on the victims because they had no permit from the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council.
He said the South African pathologists only observed what was being done by their Nigerian counterparts, adding that they were very impressed with the physical structures on ground.
According to him, only finger printing experts from South Africa, who took the victims’ finger prints, participated in the exercise.
“The team was led by a brigadier in the South African Police. We met in company of members of the Nigerian Police and the later agreed that they were better trained and better equipped to do the finger printing.
“It was the reasonable thing to do because virtually everybody in South Africa already had their finger prints on the system,” Obafunwa added.
The pathologist maintained that the victims did not die from inhalation of smoke or exposure to corrosives, as suggested by Ojo.
He said although the bodies were embalmed immediately after they were brought to the morgues, it had no effect on the outcome of the analysis carried out on them.
Also testifying, Mr Oladimeji Ige, Resource Development and Training Officer, the Nigerian Red Cross Society, said his team participated in the search and rescue of the victims.
“When we got to the church, nobody prevented us from entering the collapse site.
“In total, the Nigerian Red Cross provided one ambulance, while the church provided at least 10 ambulances.
“We worked with other volunteers of the church in carrying the victims to the hospital ,” Ige said.
He, however, said there was need to have more ambulances to deal with such emergencies in future,
Hearing continues tomorrow. T.B. Joshua has been summoned to appear on 5 November.