Synagogue Tragedy: Court Remands TB Joshua’s Engineers

TB-JoshuaAn Ikeja High Court of Lagos state on Tuesday, ordered the remand of two engineers who constructed the collapsed T. B. Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) seven-storey guest house, at Kirikiri Maximum Prisons.

The court presided by Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo ordered the remand of the two engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun, after they pleaded not guilty to a 111-count charge of gross negligence and criminal manslaughter.

The prosecution led by Mrs Idowu Alakija, the Director, Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, DPP, informed the court that the defendants comitted the offences between August 20 and September 2013.

According to her, the defendants constructed a seven-storey building at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Ikotun Egbe area of Ikeja, Lagos with “gross negligence and disregard for human life”.

The September 12, 2014 collapse of the guest house led to the death of 116 persons, 85 of whom were South Africans.

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At the engineers’ arraignment on Tuesday, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo dismissed two seperate applications of Mrs Titi Akinlawon (SAN) and Chief E.L. Akpofure (SAN).

Akinlawon had in an application dated March 3 prayed for an order adjourning further hearing pending the determination of her application of before the Court of Appeal.

Akpofure, also, in an application dated February 17, objected to the inclusion of Jandy Trust Limited as one of the defendants because there was nothing in the proof of evidence linking the company to the crimes.

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Lawal-Akapo in his ruling cited
“Section 273 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) stating that subject to the constitution, an application for a stay of proceedings in respect of a criminal matter before the High Court should not be entertained before the Court.”

Lawal-Akapo added “I find no merit in the two applications, they are lacking in merit and substance.

“This is a clear case of abuse of court processes to the irritation and annoyance of the court.”

The Judge immediately ordered the arraignment of Fatiregun, Ogundeji and the trustees of SCOAN despite alot of opposition from the defence.

The case has been adjourned to April 26 for hearing of the defendants bail applications.

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