#Synagogue building collapse: Joshua’s application forces court to halt inquest

by Kolapo Olapoju

On Wednesday, December 3, the Coroner’s Inquest investigating the collapse of a guest house building within the premises of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, SCOAN, was forced to halt proceedings.

According to Lagos State Coroner, Oyetade Komolafe, the stay in proceedings became necessary as a result of an application filed by the head of SCOAN, T B. Joshua, through his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, asking it to suspend further actions based on his invitation to appear to give evidence before the inquest.

Joshua’s lawyer told the court that further proceedings would jeopardize his motion pending before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court where he had sought the higher court’s judicial review of the coroner’s proceedings.

At the resumed hearing of the coroner, Ojo told the court that his inability to serve the state government has delayed the hearing of the case before the High Court, maintaining that he only served the application on the Lagos State Government.

Ojo said: “The motion is not ripe for hearing having not been served on all the relevant parties. It is our position that it is pending but not ripe for arguments.”

Femi Adamson, who represented the state government, confirmed that they had been served but they are yet to file a reply.

The coroner magistrate, Mr. Komolafe therefore said for the dispensation of justice, the application before the high court should be dispensed off before continuing proceedings.

He apologised to the witnesses for the inconveniences, after which he instructed Ojo to serve the application to the relevant parties to enable them file their responses on time.

Furthermore, he stated that the church had submitted to the inquest, the name and address of the contractor (Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company), which was responsible for the construction of the collapsed building.

The coroner’s inquest has been adjourned till December 5.

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