TB Joshua Missing On First Day At Building Collapse Trial, Lawyer Explains

TB-Joshua-SCOAN


By OKECHUKWU PEACE

 

The founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Temitope Joshua did not show up in court on Monday when the trial over the building collapse case that killed 116 people, mostly South Africans.

According to lawyer to SCOAN, Oluseun Abimbola, the board of trustees is a legal entity, which could be represented by anybody and not necessarily the church founder.

At the end of proceedings, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja adjourned the case till December 11 due to failure of the prosecutor, Lagos State government, to serve some of the building engineers. The engineers are Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun.

“Service in any proceeding with civil or criminal is very fundamental and anything done in the absence of service is said to be a nullity,” he averred.

The Attorney General of Lagos State, Adeniyi Kazeem, who led the state’s legal team, said the two defendants couldn’t be served as their addresses were invalid.

Mr. Abimbola stated that the defendants were served notices in a related case at a magistrate court that the government should have sent the notice to the same addresses.

Mr. Kazeem said they were served through their lawyers in the previous case, but because this is criminal case, they wanted to serve them directly.

Justice Akapo therefore gave Mr. Abimbola, who had indicated he could get the correct address of the two defendants, 72 hours to make it available to the government so they can be properly served.

The case kicked off a year and 18 days after the incident, after several injunctions by some of the defendants failed to stop it from going ahead.

While adjourning the case, Mr. Akapo stated that due to the sensitive nature of the case, he would dispense with it as quickly as possible.

 

“Cases of this nature should be given accelerated attention and if possible on a day to day bases.”

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