Arraignment Of Synagogue Church Trustees Stalled
The planned arraignment of the Registered Trustees of the Synagogue Church of All Nations and two engineers who constructed its collapsed six-storey building was stalled on Monday at the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.
The arraignment was stalled due to the absence of three out of the five defendants charged by the Lagos State Government.
While the registered trustees of the church and Jadny Trust Limited, the first & second defendants were represented by counsel in court, the 3rd to 5th defendants, Hardrock Construction Engineering Company and the two Engineers, Oladele Ogundeji & Akinbela Fatiregun were not represented.
The State's Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr Niji Kazeem, told the presiding Justice, Lateef Lawal-Akapo, that the state had not been able to serve the three defendants with a copy of the charge.
Mr Kazeem said the service could not be effected because the state did not have valid addresses for them.
The court has however, directed the counsel, Mr Oluseun Abimbola, who represented the first & second defendants to furnish the prosecution with the valid addresses of the 3rd to 5th defendants.
Meanwhile, the state has slammed a 111-count charge against the accused persons.
In count one, the registered trustees of the Synagogue church and the other defendants were charged with failure to obtain building approval contrary to Section 41 of the Urban & Regional Planning Law of Lagos State.
In count 2 to 111, the other accused persons were charged with involuntary manslaughter which led to the death of 116 persons mostly South Africans on September 12, 2014.
The court has been adjourned till December 11.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Bola Akingbade, confirmed the scheduled arraignment.
Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos had earlier dismissed the fundamental human rights enforcement suits filed by the engineers who constructed the collapsed six-storey building to stop their planned trial.