The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) yesterday requested two engineers in charge of the construction of the collapsed Synagogue building in Lagos to appear before a panel seeking to investigate alleged professional misconduct.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja, chairman of the panel, Engr. Nurudeen Rafidaju, explained that the panel is to investigate alleged misconduct by their professional colleagues, Engr. Oladele Ogundeji and Engr. Akinbola Fatiregun and not for the purpose of criminal investigation nor is it pursuant to the Coroner or High Court hearing.
This followed submissions by lawyer to the engineers, Mr Oluseun Abimbola, stating that COREN lacked grounds to hold the panel hearing because there are substantive legal issues regarding the matter. The respondents however, did not appear at the hearing yesterday.
Abimbola who also stated that COREN had earlier made a submission before the Coroner as witness, in which it took a prejudiced position, concluding that the building collapsed as a result of engineering failure, noted that it would be unfair to the respondents summoned when COREN has already taken a decision.
But Rafidaju pointed out that the panel is not a parallel proceeding and does not stop or interfere with the criminal proceeding, noting that the Coroner’s case is to determine the cause of death at the building and not professional misconduct.
“In view of these we find nothing precluding the panel from investigating alleged misconduct of our professional colleagues. We request the engineers to appear on a date to be communicated,” he said.