September 26, 2014 – The Lagos State Government has instituted a Coroner’s Inquest into the causes and nature of collapsed building at Synagogue Church of All Nations(SCOAN) in Ikotu-Egbe, just as it has called on family members and nationals of relatives believed to have died in the incident to come forward and submit samples that can aid forensic identification and DNA analysis of recovered bodies.
Instituted under the Lagos State Coroner’s System Law No. 7 of 2007, the Coroner Inquest is for the purpose of establishing the cause and manner of the collapsed building and the several deaths that followed.
The inquest was instigated by the State Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, under section 15 of the Coroner Law which provides that a Coroner shall hold an inquest whenever he is informed that the death of a deceased person lying within his Coroner District was as a result of a violent, unnatural or suspicious occurrence.
Ipaye highlighted that the Coroner has extensive powers to investigate the cause and circumstances of death and bring his findings and recommendations to the attention of appropriate authorities.
‘In doing this, he has all the powers of a magistrate to summon and compel the attendance of witnesses, including medical examiners, and require them to give evidence, produce documents or present other relevant materials’, he said, adding that the Law requires the verdict of a Coroner as certified in writing to be forwarded to the State Attorney General and such verdict may form the basis of criminal prosecutions depending on the evidence collected’.
The Ipaye made the revelation just as Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris has called on family members and national of relatives believed to have died in the incident to come forward and submit samples that can aid forensic identification and DNA analysis of recovered bodies.
Jide Idris said the Lagos state government has considered it necessary to start forensic identification and DNA analysis of the recovered bodies in view of the need to identify each of them.
He appealed to family members especially parents, children and siblings of nationals affected in the incident to visit the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja from Friday 26th September, 2014 to submit samples that can aid the forensic identification and DNA analysis of the bodies.
The Commissioner noted that those eligible to give samples for the forensic identification and DNA analysis are parents, children and siblings of the deceased.