NIGERIAN preacher and televangelist TB Joshua on Sunday linked a deadly building collapse at his Lagos megachurch to a suspicious aircraft but rescue workers ruled out the theory of foul play.
Mr Joshua, who is dubbed "The Prophet" by his followers because of his purported predictions and healing powers, showed footage of the moments leading up to the collapse on his emmanuel.tv network.
Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency said 42 people were killed in Friday’s incident, and 130 had escaped or were pulled out alive from the building rubble.
In the security camera footage, apparently from opposite the vast church compound, what is described as an aircraft is seen over the building four times at 12.30pm South African time, 12.43pm, 12.45pm and 12.54pm.
The uncompleted building, five floors of which are visible above a high wall, is then seen to collapse at 2:44pm, throwing up huge clouds of dust into the air.
"After the incident, the strange aircraft does not return," a commentary accompanying the images adds.
There was no independent verification of the authenticity of the footage but Mr Joshua has said he would make it available to Nigeria’s security agencies.
His Synagogue Church of All Nations is located in Ikotun, near Lagos international airport.
Mr Joshua’s theory about the low-flying plane featured in a number of Nigerian newspapers on Sunday. But the emergency management agency’s southwest co-ordinator Ibrahim Farinloye rejected claims of sabotage and said extra floors were being added to the building without changing the foundations.
"If it were an act of terrorism or sabotage, it would have gone into rubble," he said.