Building Collapse Trial Stalled As Synagogue Church Pastor TB Joshua And Contractors Refuse To Honor Lagos Court Summons
A Lagos State High Court presided by Justice Lawal Akapo has adjourned till 11th of December, the trial of senior pastor and prophet of Synagogue Church of All Nations, Temitope Joshua over death of 116 persons, mostly South Africans, in a building within the church premises that collapsed last year.
The trial scheduled to commence today was stalled by absence of four engineers who were to be arraigned alongside the Synagogue church’s board of trustees. Only a person appeared in respect of the Church’s board of trustees.
Oluwaseun Abimbola, counsel to the defendants told the court that the contractors were not served with court papers by the Ministry of Justice, and therefore had no cause to appear before court.
Lagos State’s Attorney General, Adeniji Kazeem said no valid physical addresses were found for the contractors, which he said was reason that the Ministry could not locate or serve the court papers on the engineers.
The judge, while ordering that proper court notices be served on the contractors within 72 hours, the judge advised the Church’s counsel that the trial is of a criminal case and that the defendants should take the trail seriously.
The trial is in respect of the death of 116 persons from the mysterious collapse of a guest house within premises of the Synagogue Church late last year.
A coroner inquest presided by Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe into the deaths has found the Church and its contractors negligent in the collapse. The coroner advised the Lagos State Government to institute legal action against the Lagos based church and its contractors for their negligence, which caused deaths of occupants of the building when it collapsed.