T.B Joshua: Coroner recommends prosecution for Synagogue Church over building collapse
The Lagos State Coroner on Wednesday ruled that the Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN), run by renowned Prophet T.B. Joshua should be prosecuted after the collapse of one of its buildings.
A multi-storey church hostel collapsed last September in the Ikotun, Lagos, headquarters of the church, killing 116 people, many of them foreigners, especially South Africans.
The authorities said it had more floors than its foundation could bear.
'The church was culpable because of criminal negligence resulting in the death of the victims,' coroner Oyetade Komolafe said at the inquest in Lagos.
Komolafe said Joshua's Synagogue had not obtained proper approval before putting up the structure.
Those who built the hostel at SCOAN should also be investigated, he said.
Joshua had blamed last year's incident on a small plane, which he said had been circling the building, a claim dismissed by the court.
According to a BBC report, the coroner also criticised the fact that Joshua did not appeared as a witness during the inquest.
'Among the individuals and organisations summoned, only Prophet T.B. Joshua refused to testify,' the AFP news agency quoted Komolafe as saying.
It was reported that Joshua went to another court arguing that the coroner did not have the right to summon him.
However, the coroner's verdict is a recommendation not binding by law; it is now up to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Lagos State, to decide what legal action to take.