At the continued coroner’s inquest into the tragic building collapse at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) on September 12th 2014, an explosives expert has testified that a ‘sound weapon’ was behind the collapse of the church structure.

Kaduna-based bomb expert, Mr Paul Iguniwei, told the coroner that the building was targeted with an infrasonic weapon by the plane-like object that flew over it on four different occasions while maintaining the same flight path on the day of the unfortunate incident.

According to him, while being cross-examined by counsel to The SCOAN, Olalekan Ojo, from a detailed analysis of the CCTV footage he watched, the flying aircraft hovered close enough over the building to bring it down using an infrasonic weapon.

“From what I observed, the four-time movement of the aircraft over the building could have been deliberate and that was to release enough dosage of the infrasonic weapon capable of bringing the building down. If you would notice, after the fourth movement, the aircraft did not return and then, the building collapsed,” he told the court.

Mr. Iguniwei described the infrasonic sonar as being both invisible and inaudible but capable of causing serious damage if its intensity is pronounced. The University of Maiduguri-trained Chemist, who has also worked as a research officer with the Defense Ministry, said that his suspicions arose after he eliminated other possible theories due to lack of plausibility.

According to him, the theory of a bomb attack became questionable owing to the absence of fire or charred remains at the scene of the collapsed building. He also said he eliminated the theory of structural defect as a result of a weak foundation because even after the collapse, there was no sign of stress on the foundation which he observed still stands intact.

He explained the modus operandi of an infrasonic weapon thus, “Infrasonic weapons can damage a building by attacking and weakening its basic components like the cement and iron rods. It is improbable that the collapse started from the ground because the building did not tilt to any side while collapsing but came vertically down in one swoop to suggest the collapse started from the top. This is why there is a causative nexus between the collapse and the flying aircraft.

Iguniwei defined an infrasonic radiation as a low sonic radiation used as a weapon to cause massive structural damage and destruction to objects and materials using a type of sound measuring below 20Hz, a level that even the human ear cannot detect.

Mr. Iguniwei also told Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe that infrasonic weapons, being highly classified, can only be owned by the state, terrorists or scientists. “Those of us who work with the security know that weapons are produced and they are always looking for where to test the weapons,” he told the court.

“I am of the opinion that what happened that day, especially with the strange plane-like objects seen in the video, was that an infrasonic radiation was fired upon the building. If you observe, you will discover that it took over half an hour after the plane left for the building to come down.”

“Engineers generally believe that a structure would fail due to bad foundation and materials but if you go there to the collapse site now, the foundation pillars are still very intact. My position is that the building was weakened from the top”, the witness explained

Meanwhile, the Chief Security Officer of The SCOAN, Sunday Okojie, played CCTV footage to the court showing scenes contrary to the sequence of events conveyed by the first respondents such as NEMA and LASEMA. According to him, LASEMA came to the scene of the incident on Friday, September 12, 2014 around 3:10pm without any equipment while NEMA arrived around 3:24 pm.

The CCTV footage revealed that both agencies came ill-equipped and didn’t spend more than 30 seconds before being ushered to the scene of the collapsed building.

Additionally, throughout the rescue operation, they reported in the morning at 8am and left the scene by 5:30pm daily. When the SCOAN’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, asked him about the allegations by both agencies that they came with several heavy equipments but were prevented from performing their statutory duties by the church, Okojie retorted, “They were lying to cover their inadequacies. Can a vehicle carry another vehicle inside because from the video before us, they only came with one vehicle that was even empty?

“Also, it’s so sad that they resumed work at 8am and closed by 5:30pm like office executives. The only thing they were interested in doing was talking to the media. They were busy organising press conferences and were unconcerned with the lives they came to rescue. I can tell you categorically that it was church officials and technicians who were drilling holes and bringing the victims out of the rubble.

“It’s a shame on our country because foreigners were on ground and witnessed how all these sad events evolved. It was even the church who initiated the issue of Julius Berger bringing heavy duty equipment and we have receipts here to prove that we procured all the equipments used in saving those innocent lives. Here are the receipts of all hospital bills and even government morgues where we footed all the bills. If it was the state government who rescued those lives, there won’t be need for state hospitals to issue receipts in our name.”

The state counsel said they were at a disadvantage due to the evidence presented by the witness and as such did not cross examine Okojie. He therefore requested for more time to watch the footage and fix a date later for cross examination, a request Magistrate Komolafe quickly accommodated.

Finally, Justice Lateefa Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court has adjourned hearing on the application filed by founder of The SCOAN, Prophet T.B. Joshua seeking stay of proceeding of the Coroner’s Inquest, to January 12, 2015.

SCOAN, in the said application dated November 11, 2014 Court and marked ID/188MJR/2014, had asked for a judicial review of the coroner’s proceedings, which began on October 13.

It had asked the High Court to declare that Prophet T.B. Joshua’s invitation to appear as a witness before the coroner was a breach of his right to fair hearing as no case had been established against his person before the coroner. It further contested that the coroner had been extending his inquisitions into areas beyond its statutory purview.

Nosa Osazuwa, a writer from Lagos, was present during the coroner’s inquest


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