Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Officials silent on fatal church building collapse probe

23 September 2014, 18:31

Lagos - Nigerian officials were tight-lipped on Tuesday about the scope of a probe into a fatal church building collapse in Lagos that killed 115, as anger mounted against the popular preacher in charge.

The Lagos state governor's spokesman, Hakeem Bello, said the government in Abuja had convened a committee of state and federal agencies to investigate the September 12 collapse.

But he offered no further details about the investigation and cancelled a scheduled news conference to provide updates on the incident at TB Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).

Also read: Survivor of church collapse tells of days in darkness

"The best thing for us is to put things on hold now. Before the investigation is out, it would not be right to say this is this, this is that," added Lagos state information commissioner Lateef Ibirogba.

A total of 84 South Africans were killed when a guesthouse housing foreign followers of the popular preacher and televangelist came down on the SCOAN complex in the Ikotun area of the city.

Rescue workers said the addition of extra floors to the three-storey building without reinforcing its foundations was likely to have caused the collapse.

But Joshua, a charismatic pastor known to his followers as "The Prophet" or "The Man of God" who claims to work miracles, suggested it was a deliberate sabotage against his ministry.

Anger at the response to the disaster has been acute in South Africa, with complaints that rescue workers were denied access to the site for three days, which it was suggested cost lives.

Joshua announced at the weekend that he would travel to South Africa to meet survivors and their families.

But the youth wing of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party said the evangelical preacher should be barred from travelling until the investigation was complete.

"TB Joshua should not be allowed to come to South Africa until we know what happened to our fellow countrymen at the his church," said a statement signed by Rebone Tau, chairman of the youth league's international relations committee.

Joshua's emmanuel.tv network took out a full-page advertisement in the influential Lagos daily ThisDay on Monday, asking for a federal probe into the collapse.

The probe should "bring to book all those involved in the obvious terror attack (on) the church aimed at not only embarrassing and discrediting prophet T.B. Joshua, but the entire nation of Nigeria", the advert said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...