Fresh Applications Stall Arraignment Of SCOAN Contractors And Trustees

By Nosa Osazuwa
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On Friday 4th March 2016, the trial of the trustees of The Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN) and the two engineers that handled the collapsed building met with yet another delay.

The arraignment will have to wait pending the determination of fresh applications filed by lawyers to the second, third and fifth defendants by Justice Lawal Akapo of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja Division.

Counsel representing Jadny Trust Limited (which appears as the second defendant), E.L. Akpofure, SAN, had filed an application seeking to quash the inclusion of his client in the case, arguing that there is no nexus between his client and the charges levelled against it.

On her own part, counsel to the third and fifth defendants (Engineers Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbola Fetiregun, respectively), Titilola Akinlawon, SAN, also filed an application seeking an indefinite adjournment pending the determination of the interlocutory appeal which has been entered at the Court of Appeal, Lagos.

Reacting to the development, Justice Akapo ordered that all the applications will be heard on March 22, 2016 after which a suitable date will be given for ruling on the matter.

It would be recalled that the Lagos State Government, had filed a 110-count charge of involuntary manslaughter against the second, third, fourth and fifth defendants after a coroner’s verdict had earlier recommended the prosecution of the contractors, claiming they were negligent and that the building collapsed due to structural failure.

It would also be recalled that Justice Kazeem Alogba of the Lagos State High Court, had on Wednesday March 2, 2016 quashed the coroner’s finding that the building collapsed due to structural failure, submitting that it is the duty of a civil court to so determine.

Nosa Osazuwa, a writer from Lagos, was present during court proceedings