Law News
Indictment: TB Joshua drags Lagos govt, Coroner to court

The Synagogue Church of All Nations, led by Prophet Temitope Joshua has dragged the Lagos State Government to court over the criminal indictment of the church by the Coroner court in relation to the collapsed building that killed about 116 persons on September 12, 2014.

Joined as defendants in the suit are the Coroner, Magistrate Komolafe Oyetade and the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

The coroner court had found the church and two engineers who constructed the collapsed building liable, recommending them for criminal trial.

In a motion filed before Justice Kazeem Alogba, TB Joshua and his church is seeking an order of certiorari quashing the verdict of the coroners’ court presided over by Magistrate Oyetade on the grounds that the court exceeded its statutory jurisdiction.

The coroner court had particularly ordered that the Synagogue Church be investigated and prosecuted by the relevant authorities for not possessing the necessary building permit while the two engineers, should be tried for criminal negligence.

The suit is praying the High Court to quash the verdict of the coroner’s court on the grounds that the inquest exceede its jurisdiction by concluding that structural failure due to the combination of design and detailing errors caused the collapse of the six-storied Synagogue building.

TB Joshua 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 Court.

Following the Federal High Court judgement, the Lagos State Government late last year instituted a 111-count criminal charge against the Trustees of the church and the two engineers. The matter is slated for hearing today  before Justice Lateef Lawal- Akapo.

In the new suit seeking to quash the coroners’ verdict, Synagogue church contended that the “Coroner’s Court of Lagos State, Alimosho District,” which presided over and delivered the verdict is unknown to the Coroner’s Court of Lagos State.

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