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Coordinates: 6°32′48″N 3°16′22″E / 6.5467°N 3.2728°E / 6.5467; 3.2728

2014 Synagogue Church building collapse
Date12 September 2014
LocationIkotun Egbe, Lagos State, Nigeria

On 12 September 2014, a guesthouse located within the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) premises around the Ikotun-Egbe area of Lagos State collapsed completely to the ground.[2] The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other emergency services were criticized for withholding information about the accident and much remained unclear about the number of deaths and their nationalities[citation needed].


Collapse of guesthouseEdit

On 12 September 2014, a guesthouse collapsed in the SCOAN's premises in Lagos killing at least 115 people, 84 of them South Africans.[3]


Nigerian emergency services refused to release the nationalities of the victims, but other countries have provided some details about those who died. The vast majority of casualties were from South Africa, but the nationalities of dozens of people remained unclear.[1]

Casualties by nationality
Nation Number
  South Africa 84
  Zimbabwe 1
Nationality unknown 30
Total 115


The then governor of Lagos State Babatunde Fashola ordered all church workers away from the scene in-order to properly rescue trapped bodies.[4] The government also claimed the church did not get government approval before construction.[5] Journalist Nicholas Ibekwe released an audio recording that allegedly captures T.B. Joshua offering bribes to journalists in return for reporting the incident in a way that portrayed the church favorably.[6]


The senior pastor of the church, T. B. Joshua has linked the tragedy to a strange aircraft "hovering" above the building shortly before it fell.[7] A video was released on YouTube that allegedly showed the plane hovering around the building before its collapse.[8] However, the coroner's report unequivocally found the cause to be due to structural failure.[9] Three government agencies, (the Nigeria Building And Road Research Institute (NBBRI), the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG)) examined the site and found the following inadequacies:

  • Inadequate beams of 750mm by 225mm (should have been 900mm by 300mm)
  • Inadequately reinforced columns (should have been reinforced with 12 x Y25 bars or 20 x Y20mm bars. Instead they used 10 x Y20 bars (as seen in the video released by SCOAN).
  • Inadequate bearing pressure for the central column due to the 2m x 2m x 0.9m foundations.
  • Failure to introduce rigid zones for bracing the structure and did not design the frames as an unbraced structure.
  • Failure to provide movement joints that could have absorbed any movement due to creep, contraction, expansion and differential settlement etc..
  • 8 out of the 12 main beams of the structure failed because they were undersized, under-reinforced (both in tension and shear), the tension bars were poorly anchored to the column supports and 8 x Y20 was used instead of 14 x Y20.
  • The ground floor columns were slender and readily gave in to buckling[10]


Joshua failed to appear at a November 2015 hearing[11] SCOAN's lawyers have filed multiple applications to stay the proceedings[12][13][14] The Lagos state government has repeatedly insisted that this case receive trial.[15]
Local radio host Freeze, drew unfavorable comparisons to a similar incident in Lekki, in which Lekki Gardens managing director Richard Nyong was jailed for illegally unsealing a building that he was having constructed and that which later collapsed.[16][17] He was upset because Nyong had been arrested quickly, Joshua had not.[18]


  1. ^ a b Death toll from Nigerian church collapse hits 115. BNO News. 22 September 2014.
  2. ^ Chioma Gabriel, Evelyn Usman, and Yinka Latona (13 September 2014). "Tragedy: Scores die as Synagogue church building collapses". Retrieved 17 September 2014.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "TB Joshua Lagos church collapse: Many South Africans dead – BBC News". Retrieved 2015-09-14.
  4. ^ "Synagogue: Fashola orders church staff out". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Fashola Visits Synagogue, Mulls Inquiry Into Causes Of Collapse". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Why I put out the TB Joshua bribery audio". INVESTIGATE!. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  7. ^ MICHEAL ABIMBOYE (14 September 2014). "Synagogue Church Tragedy: Pastor TB Joshua Links Building Collapse That Killed 17 People To Strange Aircraft". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  8. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Security Footage Of Synagogue Collapse & 'Strange Airplane' Allegedly Behind It". YouTube.
  9. ^ "SCOAN Coroner Judgement – 8 Jul 2015". Scribd. Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  10. ^ "Must read: What the coroner really said about TB Joshua's death trap building". TB Joshua Watch. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  11. ^ By expressng on November 30, 2015 (2015-11-30). "TB Joshua Missing On First Day At Building Collapse Trial, Lawyer Explains – Entertainment Express". Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  12. ^ "TB Joshua files fresh application to stop trial over death of 116 persons". Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  13. ^ "TB Joshua trial delayed". The Citizen. AFP. 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2016-03-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Taiwo George (2016-02-04). "Lagos insists TB Joshua must face trial | TheCable". Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  16. ^ "Lekki Building Collapse: What Really Is Justice? – OAP, Freeze Writes | Nigerian Entertainment Today – Nigeria's Number 1 Entertainment Daily". 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
  17. ^ "Recurring incidents of building-collapse in Lagos (Editorial)". 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  18. ^ "#Justice4All: "Why Is Lekki Gardens MD Remanded In Prison And TB Joshua Walking Free?" – Daddy Freeze Blows Up". 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-08-04.