Law News
Synagogue: Coroner reserves action on T.B Joshua summon
TB Joshua

The Lagos coroner probing the cause of the building collapse at the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, Magistrate O.A. Komolafe, has reserved further action on the witness summons served on the founder of the church, Prophet T.B. Joshua, to appear in court as a witness.

Komolafe on Monday granted an oral application by Joshua’s lawyer, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), not to call on the church head pending the determination of a suit before a Lagos High Court.

The coroner has the mandate to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of about 116 persons in the September 12 building collapse.

Among other relevant individuals and institutions, the coroner had issued a witness summons on Joshua to come and give testimony.

But in an application dated November 11, 2014 and marked ID/188MJR/2014, Joshua had asked Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos High Court to determine whether the witness summons served on him to appear before the coroner was not a breach of his right.

He further said that the coroner had been extending the inquest into areas outside his jurisdiction.

Justice Okunnu had, last week Friday, adjourned till December 22, 2014 to take Joshua’s application.

Earlier last week, Komolafe had dismissed an application by Joshua asking him to wait for Justice Okunnu’s judgement before going on with the inquest.

But on Monday, after taking submissions from Fagbemi, Komolafe said he would wait for the High Court’s judgement before acting on the invitation served on Joshua to make appearance.

Meanwhile, the Deputy General Manager, Air Traffice Control of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr. Rafiq Arogunjo, has said that the “strange aircraft” hovering around the Ikotun area of Lagos on September 12 belonged to the Nigeria Air Force.

Arogunjo, who stated this in his testimony before the coroner on Monday, said the said aircraft, with five crew members on board, was on training.

He said the aircraft did not fly directly over the collapsed building, but maintained the statutory 1000 feet flight distance in congested areas.

The DGM told the coroner that the aircraft flew about six times in the area because of high traffic of in-coming aircrafts at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

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