Law News
Synagogue: Coroner concludes inquest, TB Joshua fails to appear
Witness testimonies in the ongoing coroner’s inquest into the death of 116 persons, who died in the September 12, 2014, in Synagogue Church Of All Nations’ building collapse, came to a close on Wednesday.
At the close of witness evidence on Wednesday, the founder  of SCOAN, Prophet T.B. Joshua, had yet to appear before the court.
Joshua’s appeal against the judgment of a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, validating the witness summons served on him to testify before the coroner, had yet to be decided.
Answering question on whether or not the witness summons, served on Joshua by the coroner was not a violation of his fundamental rights to fair hearing, Justice Latifa Okunnu had said the coroner had the latitude to invite any witness it deemed necessary to its statutory assignment.
But Joshua, through his lawyer, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had headed for the Court of Appeal to challenge Okunnu’s judgment. He subsequently asked the court to suspend the invitation on Joshua pending the decision of the appellate court.
The coroner, Magistrate O.A. Komolafe, who declared the witness testimonies closed, subsequently fixed June 12, 2015 for all parties to canvass their final written addresses or a summary of their arguments.
The inquest, which began on October 13 last year, closed acceptance of evidence with the testimony of a witness from the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Mr. Victor Oyenuga.
Among those who honoured the invitation of the coroner were the National Emergency Management Agency, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the Red Cross Society, the Lagos State Fire Service, the Lagos State Transport Management Authority, the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Others were the Lagos State Building Control Agency, the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the Lagos State Ministry of Works, the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism and other individuals and corporate bodies.
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