Law News
Synagogue: I’m yet to be served witness summons —TB Joshua

There was a set back yesterday at the Coroner Court investigating the collapse of a guest house within the Synagogue Church of All Nations on September 12, as one of the church’s counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, told the court that Prophet T.B. Joshua and the contractor are yet to be served with witness summons.

The coroner judge, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, had summoned Prophet T.B. Joshua and the contractor to appear before the court yesterday.

Earlier, the General Manager of the state Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA gave evidence on how the agency rescued 131 bodies alive from the rubble of the collapsed building.

SYNAGOGUE:  Prophet T.B. Joshua, Pastor of Synagogue Church of all Nations'  lawyer, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, at Coroner's Court in Ikeja, fielding questions from journalists on the inability of his client to appear in court today over the collapsed guest house belonging to the church. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor & Bunmi Azeez

Ojo said: “There is need to make certain clarification. I want to inform the court that as at today no summons to appear before this court has been personally served on Prophet T.B. Joshua. No witness summon has been served. It was on Friday that the court bailiff tried to serve summons on Prophet T.B. Joshua but unfortunately he was not around because he was attending to issues of victims that died.

“The bailiff cannot depose to an affidavit that Prophet T.B. Joshua received a witness summon. I do not want it to look as if the prophet was served and he did not come. Prophet T.B. Joshua was not served, he was unavoidably absent. This has to be done personally.

“On the contractor, I do not think the contractor has also been served because this court does not have his name or address. Neither the contractor nor Prophet T.B. Joshua has been served any witness summon.”

However, Magistrate Komolafe held that in line with Magistrate Civil  Procedure Rule, Order 5 (Rule 2), Law of Lagos State, 2009, which guides the coroner inquest, a counsel appearing for the church can also receive the summons on behalf of his client.

Also the Magistrate requested the Chief Security Officer, CSO, who he identified to extend the message of appearance before the court to Prophet Joshua.

“That is why I said will you accept service for Prophet T.B. Joshua? Tell the prophet to come or do you want me to ask the DPO at Ikotun to lay siege at the Church?” the judge asked.

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