Registered trustees of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, founded by Prophet TB Joshua, on Monday filed another suit seeking to stop the Lagos State government from prosecuting them over the death of 116 persons when a six-storey building collapsed on the premises of the church.
Lagos State government had filed 111 counts against the registered trustees of the church, two engineers and two companies over the deaths with arraignment scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, 2016 (today) before Justice Lawal-Akapo of the Ikeja High Court.
However, in their fresh action, filed before Justice Kazeem Alogba of Ikeja High Court, they requested an order to stop their proposed arraignment and asked for the record of proceedings of a Lagos State Coroner Court, presided over by Oyetade Komolafe, which indicted them and recommended them for criminal prosecutions.
Komolafe, who conducted an inquest into the mishap which occurred on September 12, 2014, had on July 8, 2015, decided that the building that killed the victims was built without approval, adding that its collapse was due to structural defect.
But the church and its engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun, rejected the verdict, describing it as unreasonable and one-sided.
In September 2015, Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos had dismissed two similar actions filed by the engineers to squash the coroner’s verdict and prevent their arraignment.
When the matter came up on Monday before Justice Alogba, the case adjourned till February 4, 2016, for hearing as Magistrate Komolafe was absent in court and was not represented by any lawyer
Meanwhile, the state government has vowed to challenge the fresh suit, saying it was determined to pursue the issues relating to the matter to a logical conclusion and ensure justice was done.