By Jerry Uwah
The mystery over claims that the guest house of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) might have been brought down by an explosion persisted yesterday with the head of the anti-bomb unit of the Nigeria Police in Lagos State, Mr. Olakunle Olanrewaju telling the coroner that the report of the unit was not ready.
The police witness added that he could not conclude whether the building was brought down by an explosion until the laboratory report was out.
Testifying before the coroner, Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, Olanrewaju, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP), insisted that the Explosive Ordinance Devices (EOD) Unit of the Nigeria Police would only go to the site of any disaster, if there was any reasonable suspicion that an explosive might have been used on the said scene.
While confirming to the coroner that he was mandated by the state Commissioner of Police (CP), Kayode Aderanti to move to the site of SCOAN’s collapsed guest for investigation, Olanrewaju said the police had a duty to investigate any suspicion of the commission of a crime.
The police witness added that the decision of the Lagos police boss to dispatch the EOD personnel to the collapsed building was because there was the need to investigate the possible use of explosives on the collapsed Guest House.
The witness said: “The mission of the EOD team led by my humble self was to find out whether or not the building collapsed as a result of the use of explosives. My team collected samples of debris and roofing sheets.”
However, under cross-examination by counsel to the Lagos state government, Akingbolahan Adeniran, the witness said: “I did not discover any power source, detonators, and batteries at the collapsed building. I cannot conclude that a bomb blast occurred until the laboratory test result comes out.”
Meanwhile, Chief Magistrate Komolafe apparently reacting to media reports that the Coroners Court has stayed proceedings, clarified that the court only excused the founder of SCOAN, Mr. Temitope Joshua from appearing before the court to testify, pending the determination of his application before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.
other international rights organisations to wade into these orgies of killings that have wasted over 4,000 lives since 2011”.