Law News
SYNAGOGUE: Court retrains LASG from prosecuting engineers

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday restrained the Lagos State Attorney-General from prosecuting the two engineers who built the collapsed guest house of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN.

Justice Buba also granted an order of injunction restraining the Commissioner of Police from arresting and detaining the applicants.

The judge said that the orders will subsist until the state appeals his  ruling.

While ruling on the engineers’ application for injunction pending appeal, Justice Buba, urged the prosecution to ensure the appeal is heard expeditiously.

“In the circumstances of this case, the counter affidavit has not been able to show that I should not exercise my discretion judicially and judiciously.

“Even though the applicants had suffered defeat in this court, I am inclined to granting this application on the caveat or rider that the applicants must pursue their appeal diligently and vigorously so that justice can be done to all parties.

“The application for injunction pending appeal has merit and is hereby granted. If the applicants fail to prosecute the appeal diligently, the order can be vacated by this court or the Court of Appeal depending on the situation, the time and place.

Lagos State had preferred a 111-count charge against the Registered Trustees of SCOAN and the engineers over the collapsed building.

Their arraignment was stalled on Monday and Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Ikeja High Court adjourned till December 11 because of the state’s inability to serve three of the defendants with the charge.

While arguing the application yesterday, the applicant’s counsel Mr Olalekan Ojo said: “The whole essence of the application is to protect the constitutional right of the applicants by preserving the intangible res of arrest and prosecution of the applicants. The interest of justice leans in favour of the preservation of the res.”

The state, through its counsel Akinjide Bakare, prayed the court to refuse the application as it is another attempt to stop the implementation of the Coroner’s recommendations.

Adding  that the applicants do not have a valid appeal before the Court of Appeal and that granting the application would stop the Attorney-General from performing his functions in line with the 1999 Constitution.

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