SCOAN COLLAPSE: TB Joshua Drags Coroner To High Court

SCOAN COLLAPSE: TB Joshua Drags Coroner To High Court

Popular televangelist, Prophet TB Joshua has reportedly challenged coroner, Oyetade Komolafe, on the ongoing inquest into his church’s building collapse.

Vanguard reports that counsels to the clergyman on Thursday revealed that they had filed a legal challenge against the coroner for summoning Prophet Joshua to come and testify on the building collapse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) which happened on September 12, 2014, at Ikotun area of Lagos State, where about 116 worshipers lost their lives.

READ ALSO: Pastor: TB Joshua Should Not Face Coroner Inquest

The prophet has been summonsed twice to give evidence at an inquest examining the circumstances of the tragedy, but has repeatedly declined to appear on both occasions. It was gathered that the recent refusal of TB Joshua to show up at the inquest annoyed the coroner who threatened to order the arrest of the prophet.

However, Joshua’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, who spoke after the hearing said: “We have gone to the high court to challenge the jurisdiction of the coroner to issue a witness summons. The coroner has unconsciously exceeded his jurisdiction in that he has started inquiring into matters that are not causative of deaths.”

Komolafe is reportedly angered that the pastor was not present for the start of proceedings on Thursday after failing to appear on November 5, 2014, but Joshua’s counsel had argued that the prophet has been 'unavoidably absent' and failed to receive the summons, and that, he does not want to create the impression that he is avoiding the court.

But the coroner, Komolafe, had on Thursday insisted that: “any of the witnesses who is not in court today will be arrested. I think the court has been lenient enough.”

Ojo hinted that the prophet had received the latest summons but cleared the air that his appearance was conditional on the outcome of the high court challenge.

“The Prophet has respect for the law of the land and will not do anything that will hurt the law. If at the end of the day, it is appropriate for The Prophet to appear he will be in court. We do not intend to abuse the legal process. Besides, The Prophet has a milk of human kindness. He is still grieving over the horrendous loss of lives. Coming to court is not proper. It is not a good way of showing respect for the dead,” Ojo said.

Meanwhile, the self-acclaimed miracle worker, TB Joshua, who has presidents and powerful politicians from across Africa as members of his church had initially alleged that the building collapse was caused by a mysterious aircraft, seen 'hovering' around the building before the collapse.

He also claimed that the church collapse was an attack, although building experts and witnesses have ruled out the theory of aerial sabotage or an explosion. It was further gathered that the building had no planning permission and that several other structures in the church are structurally unsound as well.

READ ALSO: TB Joshua Would Face Arrest If He Dismissed Inquest - Coroner

Reactions have trailed the tragedy with a lot of people calling for the arrest and prosecution of the prophet following the revelation made by the Lagos State authorities, which indicated that illegal addition of extra floors was responsible for the collapse.

But Komolafe on the opening day of the hearing on October 13, 2014, explained that the inquest was not a criminal court saying: “we are here to find facts, find out what has happened, why, where, when and how so as to prevent a recurrence.”

Just recently, the dead bodies of 74 South Africans nationals who involved in the collapse were repatriated from Lagos last weekend out of a total of 81.

Meanwhile the Nigerian police on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, revealed that the ‘strange ‎aircraft’ that supposedly hovered over the collapsed Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) building belonged to a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) CH 130 Hercules.


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