Lagos - A Federal High Court in Lagos, on
Monday, fixed Nov. 17, to deliver judgment in a suit seeking to stop the
ongoing inquest into the collapsed Synagogue building.
Justice Ibrahim Buba reserved judgment after entertaining
arguments from the applicant and the respondents in the suit.
It is stated that 116 people,
including foreigners, died on Sept. 12, following the collapse of a six-storey
building within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos.
The Lagos State Government consequently on Sept. 26, set up
a Coroner's Inquest to unravel the circumstances leading to the incidence and
appointed Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe as Coroner.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, had on Oct. 28
filed a suit to restrain the coroner from further inquest into the building
collapse, pending the determination of the case at the FHC.
The Lagos State Government, the Attorney General of
the State, and Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, the coroner, were listed as
respondents in the suit.
Adopting his arguments on Monday, the applicant urged the
court to grant all the reliefs sought, and hold that the Coroner's court was
Also read: FHF refuses to stop ongoing inquest into collapsed Synagogue
He noted that the agencies of the Lagos State Government had
already testified before the Coroner on collapsed building, adding that their
testimonies only emphasised their findings.
According to Ogungbeje, there would be a huge miscarriage of
justice, if the coroner's court bases its decision on the testimonies of these
Besides, the lawyer also contended that the composition of
the Coroner's Court, negated the principle of natural justice and Section 36 of
the Constitution, and as such was unconstitutional and void.
Mr Akinjide Bakare, the counsel to the respondents, in his
reply argued that the inquest into the collapsed building was initiated due to
public outcry on the need to unravel the circumstances surrounding the deaths.
According to Bakare, the inquest was not sitting as a
regular court, but just on a fact-finding assignment to unravel what actually
He said that the preliminary investigations carried out by
the Lagos State Building Control Agency, revealed that the church never got
approval for the additional structures on the collapsed building.
Bakare also contended that the applicant lacked the locus
standi to sustain the suit as he was neither a member of the church, nor was he
personally affected by the inquest.
He therefore, urged the court to dismiss the suit.