SCOAN : Court Fixes Date For Joshua’s Hearing

tb joshua

An Ikeja High Court has fixed a date to hear the application filed by the Registered Trustees of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and its founder, Prophet Temitope Joshua to dismiss the inquest proceedings.

ThisDay reports that Justice Lateefa Okunnu, fixed December 22, 2014 for the hearing after counsel to SCOAN, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and lawyer to the Lagos State government; Femi Adamson had intimated the judge of challenges encountered in the exchange of court processes.

Joined as respondent in the suit are the Coroner’s Court of Lagos State and Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe.

Meanwhile, the inquest was inaugurated by the Lagos State Government under the state Coroner’s System Law No.7 of 2007 to investigate what led to the collapse of the six-storey building guesthouse that claimed the lives of 166 people. The coroner is also expected to take its findings and recommendations to the appropriate authorities

Prophet Joshua and the church in the said application dated November 11, 2014 and marked ID/188MJR/2014 had requested for a judicial review of the coroner’s proceedings, which began on October 13.

In the application filed pursuant to Order 40 Rule 5 of the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure Rules) 2012, Joshua is seeking “An order of Certiorari to quash the proceedings of the 1st and 2nd respondents in the conduct of the coroner’s inquest into the death of unknown persons in the Synagogue tragedy September 12, 2014 in suit number CR/AL/01/2014 concerning matters, issues and circumstances other than what directly caused the death of the victims and the manner of their death for having been conducted without or in excess of the statutory jurisdiction of the 1st and 2nd respondents.

“A declaration that the decision of the coroner to summon the applicants to give evidence at a time when no materials were placed before the coroner against the applicants is a breach of the applicant’s right to fair hearing. A declaration that the coroner who relied on his personal knowledge of the facts of the case is not a proper person to preside at the inquest into the death of people at the collapsed building of Synagogue Church of All Nations. A declaration that the coroner who relied on extraneous matters not borne out of the records to reach his conclusion that the 2nd applicant is a necessary witness when in fact is not is in breach of the rules of natural justice and fair hearing guaranteed by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the application read in parts.

It would be recalled that Joshua’s request of a temporary suspension of the inquest probing the September 12 building collapse at his church, the Synagogue Church for All Nations, SCOAN, was dismissed by the coroner, Magistrate Komolafe.

However, Joshua had on 11 November, 2014, filed an application asking Komolafe to put on hold further inquisition into the cause of death of the victims of the collapsed building at his church.

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