Lagos - A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday adjourned to Nov.10 hearing in a suit seeking to stop the ongoing inquest into the Synagogue building collapse.
On September 12, a six-story building within the premises of the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed in Lagos.
It led to the death of 116 people, most of whom were foreigners, with several others injured.
The Lagos State Government, on September 26, constituted a coroner's court to unravel the circumstances leading to the incident and Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe was appointed as the coroner.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, on October 28, filed a suit seeking an order restraining further proceedings in the inquest pending the determination of a substantive suit at the FHC.
Listed as respondents in the suit are the Lagos State Government, the Attorney-General of the State, Ade Ipaye and Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, the counsel representing the respondents, Akinjide Bakare, informed the court that he had just filed his counter affidavit to the applicant's processes.
He said that he had served the counter-affidavit on the applicant in the open court.
In response, counsel to the applicant, Nelson Okedinachi, confirmed service of the respondent's processes on him in court, but said that he would require time to file his response.
Consequently, Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned the suit till November 10 to enable parties regularise, before hearing of the suit.
According to the applicant, the inquest was constituted by the Lagos State Government after agencies of the state government had indicted the Church of erecting additional structures on an already existing building without approval.
He argued that if allowed to continue, the proceedings of the coroner inquest would occasion a miscarriage of justice, as the coroner would base its decision on the testimonies of the same government agencies.
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The lawyer alleged that the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Lagos State Fire Service had made prejudicial reports.
He said that they had said that the building collapsed due to the erection of additional structures on the existing one..
Ogungbeje said that the contention of the Church that the building collapsed as a result of an aircraft hovering round the building moments before it collapsed was ignored.
He averred that the Lagos State Building Control Agency went ahead to seal up the main building of the church.
The lawyer is, therefore, seeking an order nullifying the composition of the coroner and its proceedings so far.
He also wants as an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants jointly and severally from further proceedings.
The applicant had asked that every sitting, investigation, fact finding, or any action in any manner whatsoever on any facts connected to the case be put on hold until the suit was determined.