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Synagogue collapse: Court adjourns ruling

03 March 2015, 19:11

Ikeja - An Ikeja High Court has adjourned ruling on a suit filed by the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) against the ongoing coroner's inquest into the collapsed guest house of the church till March 6.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu adjourned the ruling on Tuesday after observing that the issue on whether the coroner can be sued or not, needed to be addressed by the parties.

She, therefore, directed the plaintiff and the respondents’ lawyers to canvass arguments on the issue at the next adjournment date to assist the court in its ruling.

The inquest was set up by the Lagos State Government to investigate the September12, 2014 building collapse which killed 116 people, mostly South Africans.

However, the church and its founder, Prophet Temitope Joshua, had sued the government and the coroner, Oyetade Komolafe, over the inquest.

Also read: Coroner laments stalling of Synagogue inquest

The applicants had asked for a judicial review of the proceedings before the coroner’s inquest which began on October13, 2014.

They had asked the court to determine whether the witness summons served on Joshua to appear before the coroner did not constitute an infringement on his right to fair hearing.

The plaintiff also asked the court to declare that Komolafe had exceeded the jurisdiction of a coroner’s court by delving into areas that were beyond the scope of the court.

Meanwhile, at the resumption of the inquest on Tuesday, Sunday Okojie, the Chief Security Officer of the church, said that only the last three floors of the building were occupied prior to its collapse.

Okojie, who was being cross-examined by Akingbolahan Adeniran, Counsel to the Lagos State Government, admitted that the government provided more than one ambulance during the rescue operation.

The matter was adjourned till March 4 for further hearing.



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