Contradictory statements from the Lagos State Government witness at the resumed hearing of the trial of the contractors who handled the construction of the collapsed building belonging to The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) marred events on Wednesday 22nd June 2016.
Consultant Urban Planner and former Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Toyin Adedamola Ayinde told the court that the CCTV footage showing the sequence of the collapse had been sent to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for analysis.
However, after admitting that he received a response from the aviation agency, he failed to state categorically its contents, leading several onlookers to suggest he was deliberately covering such information on the premise that it failed to corroborate with his own narrative.
The presiding judge, Justice Lawal Akapo, tried severally to have the witness state the contents of the response without any success, casting further aspersions on the integrity of his witness.
Ayinde continued by making contradictory statements concerning the distance of the aircraft that hovered over the building and the building itself.
Moreso, having told the court on Tuesday June 21, 2016 that he had observed an aircraft hovering over the building in the CCTV footage, the former commissioner told the court today that the aircraft did not directly fly over the building.
As the witness struggled to make articulate and categorical statements, Justice Lawal Akapo expressed his concerns, observing that due to the technicalities involved, it would be difficult to understand the witness who, rather than help the court in establishing facts, seemed to be confusing it the more.
All efforts by the prosecution counsel led by the Lagos DPP, Idowu Alakija to stampede the court into believing that the aircraft couldn’t have been responsible for the collapse of the building were vehemently rejected by the defense counsel.
E.L Akpofure, SAN had earlier raised an objection to that effect to which Justice Akapo concurred. The hearing is set to resume on Monday, June 27, 2016.
Nosa Osazuwa ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) was present during the court proceedings.
*Photo Caption – Purported plane flying close to collapsed SCOAN building.