Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun – the two engineers – who constructed the collapsed seven-storey guest house of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), were remanded at Kirikiri Maximum Prisons in Lagos .
Lateef Lawal-Akapo, a judge of an Ikeja high court, who gave the ruling, said the men should be kept behind bars until the charges would be determined.
“The defendants are remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons pending the determination of the charge,” he ordered.
The engineers had pleaded not guilty to a 111-count charge bordering on gross negligence and criminal manslaughter.
The prosecution led by Idowu Alakija, director, Lagos state directorate of public prosecutions (DPP), said the defendants committed the offences between August 20 and September 2013.
According to her, the defendants constructed a seven-storey building at the church in Ikotun-Egbe in Ikotun area of Lagos with disregard for human lives.
One-hundred-and-sixteen persons, 85 of whom were South Africans, died in the incident.
On July 8, 2015, the coroner’s inquest instituted by the Lagos state government, had said the collapse was caused by structural failure due to a combination of designs and detailing errors.
The inquest ordered that Synagogue church be investigated and prosecuted by the relevant authorities for not possessing necessary building permits, while the two engineers should be tried for criminal negligence.
The arraignment of the defendants by the Lagos state government had been continuously stalled by the defence through several adjournments and filing of various applications before the court.
But at Tuesday’s proceedings, the Judge dismissed two seperate applications of Titi Akinlawon (SAN) and E.L. Akpofure (SAN), and immediately ordered the arraignment of Fatiregun, Ogundeji and the trustees of the church in spite of opposition from the defence.
The case was adjourned to April 26 for hearing of the defendants’ bail applications.