A 37-year-old weapon researcher and graduate of Chemistry from the University of Maiduguri, Mr. Biedomo Iguniewei, has said that the collapsed six-storey building within the premises of the Synagogue Church for All Nations could have been felled with a high energy infrasonic radiation.
Iguniewei on Monday told the coroner probing the circumstances surrounding the September 12 tragedy that he was in a position to reach such a conclusion based on his work experience with the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria, where he said he had worked for six years.
He said the aircraft that reportedly hovered above the church shortly before the building came down could have fired infrasonic radiation weapons at the building.
The witness described himself as an independent consultant with specific interest in explosives and weapon research and that he is currently a post-graduate student of Explosives and Material Science at the Nigerian Defence Academy.
No fewer than 116 persons, mostly South Africans on pilgrimage to SCOAN, reportedly died in the incident.
The witness said that due to his background and research experience in explosives and military weapons, he took personal interest in the collapsed building and had consequently visited the site of the collapsed structure all the way from Kaduna with a view to carrying out a research and publishing a paper.
“I was worried when I heard them talking of controlled demolition. And from the video that I watched, I started asking myself: What could have led to the building crumbling in near vertical fall?” Iguniewei said.
Iguniewei said that after eliminating all the other possible options, he came to the conclusion that the building could possibly have been fired upon with infrasonic radiations.
According to Iguniewei, an infrasound is a type of sound measuring below 20Hz, which is below what the normal human ear could detect.
He said, “The striking thing about infrasound is that you cannot hear it and you cannot see it but it causes remarkable vibrations when used as a weapon.
“Those of us who work with the security know that weapons are produced and they are always looking for where to test them.
“I am of the opinion that what happened that day, especially with the strange plane-like objects seen in the video, was that an infrasonic radiation was fired upon the building; and if you observe, you will discover that it took about 30 minutes for the building to come down.”
He added, “It is important for this court to be aware of this option but why it could have been used here is another matter entirely.
“But since I have been pondering on why a building would collapse the way this one did, this is the most plausible explanation for me.”
The witness said it had become important to consider the option of infrasonic radiation, especially with the repeated movement of the aircraft, which was said to have repeatedly passed over the collapsed building.
“That plane-like object flew close to the building, and that is all that is needed for the infrasonic radiation to reach the building. As far as I am concerned, the repeated overpass of the plane-like object is to ensure that the building received enough dose of the radiation sufficient to bring it down.
“Engineers generally believe that a structure would fail due to bad foundation and bad materials but if you go there now the foundation pillars are still very intact. My position is that the building weakened from the top,” Iguniewei insisted.
When asked what would be seen as the evidence in the aftermath of an infrasonic attack on a building, the witness said there would be no material evidence because the radiation neither generated heat nor resulted in burning or charring.
He said, “The bomb expert who is looking for chemical residue will not see anything like a by-product and of course there is no charring because all that the radiation does is to cause a vibration of the atoms from their position resulting in the emission of electrons.”
Meanwhile the suit filed by the founder of SCOAN, Prophet T.B. Joshua, to challenge his invitation to testify at the inquest was stalled on Monday.
The suit could not be heard as the defence counsel told the court that he had only just been served on Monday morning with a further affidavit filed by SCOAN.
Justice Lateefa Okunnu consequently adjourned till January 12, 2015.
This item originally appeared on Punch news