Magistrate A.O. Komolafe, the coroner probing the September 12 Synagogue building collapse, on Wednesday suspended further sitting till December 5, 2014. Due to the abrupt suspension of the court’s proceeding on Wednesday, Komolafe could not take the testimonies of all the witnesses that had been invited to appear before the court.
This decision, came after the Founder, Synagogue Church Of All Nations, Prophet T.B. Joshua, through his counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, had informed Komolafe of a pending application before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja in which he had asked for a judicial review of the coroner’s proceeding.
Joshua among other things also asked that the invitation served on him to appear before the coroner be put on hold pending the outcome of the application before Justice Okunnu. When the Wednesday proceeding commenced, Ojo reminded the coroner of the application, adding that he had only just served it on the Lagos State Government.
Ojo said the application was not yet ripe for hearing because he had yet to serve it on all the other necessary parties to enable them reply as appropriate. “The motion is not ripe for hearing having not been served on all the relevant parties, It is our position that it is pending but not ripe for arguments,” Ojo said.
The Counsel for the Lagos State Government, Mr. Femi Adamson, in response confirmed that they had only been served, adding that they had not filed their reply. Following the development, the coroner said it was proper to dispense with the application first before going on to take evidence from other witnesses. Komolafe apologised to the witnesses who were already in court that the inquest had to adjourn to enable the lawyers do their jobs.
He therefore directed Ojo to serve the application on the relevant parties to enable them file their responses. He also disclosed that the church had submitted the name and address of the contractor which handled the collapsed building, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company, to the inquest.
Further sitting was adjourned till December 5, 2014.