A former Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olutoyin Ayinde, on Tuesday told an Ikeja High Court that the auditorium of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) did not have a valid building permit.
Mr. Ayinde made the revelation while being led in evidence by Idowu Alakija, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the ongoing trial of two engineers charged with criminal manslaughter in the collapsed seven-storey guest house of the church which claimed 116 lives.
“The building collapse occurred on a Friday. I got in touch with the District Officer of the Lagos State Physical
Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) to confirm if the Synagogue Church had any building approval in the system,” he said.
“The Electronic Document Management System was searched and the only building approval for the church did not cover the site of the collapse building.
“The document, a five-storey building approval, was meant for the church auditorium, but as at the time of the collapse, the church auditorium had gone from five floors to eight floors.
“By the Ministry’s definition, the approval the church had for the auditorium is no longer valid and there was no application for approval registered for the collapsed building.
“The Building Control Agency pasted their sticker on the auditorium which had surpassed the approved five-storey but there was no need for sanctions on the other building because it had already collapsed.”
Mr. Ayinde, a consultant urban planner and a fellow of the Institute of Town Planners Registration Council of Nigeria, explained his role as a commissioner in the administration of Gov. Babatunde Fashola.