T.B. Joshua, Synagogue sue Lagos government, coroner over building collapse report

Prophet Temitope Joshua and the Registered Trustees of Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN) have sued the Lagos State Coroners. Court and Attorney-General of the state over the indictment of the church and two engineers who constructed the collapsed building that killed about 116 persons on September 12, 2014. In a suit filed before Justice Kazeem Alogba, Joshua and his church are seeking an order quashing the verdict of the coroners’ court presided over by the Magistrate, Komolafe Oyetade, on the grounds that the court exceeded its statutory jurisdiction.

Komolafe and the Attorney General, Lagos State, are listed as respondents in the suit filed on January 11. The Lagos Coroners’ court, in a verdict last year, indicted the church and the two engineers that constructed the building. Specifically, the court ordered that Synagogue Church be investigated by the relevant authorities for not possessing necessary building permits while the two engineers who constructed the collapsed building should be tried for negligence. SCOAN and the two embattled engineers subsequently filed a fundamental human rights enforcement suit before a Federal High Court, Lagos, against the Coroners’ Court, Lagos State government, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). The suit, which was meant to stop the arrest and prosecution of the church and the engineers, was however dismissed by a federal high court. Following the court judgment, the Lagos State government late last year instituted a 111-count criminal charges against trustees of the church and the two engineers. The matter is slated for hearing before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo.