Breaking News:TB Joshua, engineers get 18 February date to face trial

Breaking News:TB Joshua, engineers get 18 February date to face trial

Monday, February 8, 2016 12:13 pm


TB Joshua and the collapsed Synagogue Church  building

TB Joshua and the collapsed Synagogue Church building

Henry Ojelu/Ikeja
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, Monday ruled that Trustees of Synagogue Church of All Nation, SCOAN, headed by Prophet T.B Joshua must face trial on 18 February over the collapsed building that killed 116 persons in 2014.

Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo in his ruling struck  out the application,  filed by SCOAN trustees and the two engineers who constructed the collapsed building, seeking to stop their arraignment.

The Lagos State Government had late last year slammed a 111 count criminal charge against Trustees of the church, the two engineers, Messrs Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun and their companies, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company; and Jandy Trust Limited

But the engineers  challenged the legality of the court processes effected on them by the Lagos State government.

The court, had on December 11, 2015 granted an application by the prosecution to serve the 4th and 5th defendants, the engineers,  through substituted means after several attempts to serve them were not successful.

Justice Lawal-Akapo ordered the prosecution to paste the court papers on the front doors of the 4th and 5th defendants’ addresses in the Alagbado and Ikeja areas of Lagos respectively.

The judge also ordered the prosecution to file a photographic evidence featuring the sheriff pasting the court papers.

But the defendants through their lawyers, Chief E.L. Akpofure (SAN) and Mrs. Titi Akinlawon (SAN), contended that the order to serve them by substituted means was wrongfully granted by Justice Lawal-Akapo.

They described the judge as functus officio and urged him to set aside the order for substituted service because it was obtained in breach of the relevant laws.

Akpofure argued that in the absence of a valid service everything done by the court would be a nullity.

The Senior Advocate had also argued that the Lagos State Attorney General, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, ought not to have filed the charge in the first place as he had on December 2, 2015 been restrained by Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos not to prosecute the engineers pending the outcome of an appeal they filed against Buba’s judgment in their fundamental rights enforcement suits.

The Senior Advocate also pointed out that the engineers were charged based on the July 8, 2015 verdict of a Lagos Coroner Court presided over by Mr. Oyetade Komolafe, which he said was against the provisions of relevant laws.

Counsel to Fatiregun and Jandy Trust Limited, Mrs. Akinlawon in her submission also agreed with Akpofure’s line of argument and urged Justice Lawal-Akapo to “stop the Attorney General of violating a subsisting court order.”

But the prosecution team, led by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Idowu Alakija described the defendants’ application as frivolous and urged the court to dismiss them.

She argued that once Justice Lawal-Akapo had made the order, he could not overrule himself, stressing that only an appellate court could set aside the order of substituted service already granted.

According to the DPP, what the defendants were asking the court to do was to grant a stay of proceedings, which, according to her, had been outlawed by the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

She maintained that the law was clear on the authority of the Attorney General to prosecute.

Ruling on the application today,  Justice Lawal-Akapo said the essence and importance of service to judicial system in criminal matter cannot be over-emphasised.

He said the purpose of service is to afford the person being charged to court to react, adding that there is provision for substituted service in the law of the country.

On the issue that Lagos State Attorney General ought not to have filed the charge in the first place as he had on December 2, 2015 been restrained by Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court’s ruling, the judge held that the order of an High Court,  whether state or federal,  cannot bind another High Court.

He held that both the federal and state high courts are court of same coordinate jurisdictions and so Justice Buba’s ruling cannot stop the proceedings in his court.

“The order of a high court cannot be binding on another high court,  be it federal or state because they are both court of coordinate jurisdictions.

“The order of Buba J cannot bind this court and cannot stop this proceedings. I find no merit in the two applications and they are hereby dismissed”, the judge held.

Justice Lawal-Akapo however fixed February 18, 2016 for the arraignment of the defendants.

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One Comment

  • Jesse says:

    Tell me, did God command TB Joshua to build illegal hostel ? And that without building permit ?

    How is that comparable with Paul and Silas ? Did they build illegally ? Did they do it against the Roman occupier coming from Rome ?

    Was Paul not brought to Rome and killed there ? And Peter hung upside down on the cross ? How about the beheading of John the Baptist ?

    How did God fight for them ? Let me clarify. If it is your end, it is your end. No God will defend you then anymore. You will be dead. Or go to jail. How many missionaries are being beheaded by ISIS ? Does God fight them ? The only fight you see is bombing.

    TB Joshua is fighting by legal defense, why ? Is it because he has done something that he should not have done ? Does money have to answer all problems ? Did TB Joshua not tell us if you have court case leave it all up to God ? Why is he then fighting so hard to stop and quash it all ? What are you thinking ?

    Sunshine you have no clue, you just are a idolater as so many are. Because of gain. What about justice for the martyr ? Has TB Joshua already pointed out who did it and can he bring them with him to court with his “morning water” ? Clearly not.

    What about his false prophecy of:

    #Boko Haram




    Can we just get it all right ? Is somebody like him above the Law of the Land ? Nobody is above the law with:

    Involuntary Manslaughter


    Manslaugther by gross negligence

    Can murderers now buy themselves out ? With money, with court cases, with making themselves favourite online and giving themselves reward for their actions or even resisting Court orders, hiding, deceiving and pervert the Course of Justice ?

    Does the defendant not owe duty to the deceased to take care ?

    And has the defendant not breached this duty ?

    And the breach caused the death of the deceased ?

    And that the defendant’s negligence was gross, that is, it showed such a disregard for the lives and safety of others as to amount to a crime and deserve punishment ?

    Should people who do things illegally in the Name of God get off the hook ? Really ? Who would you want God to fight for that ? Which God is telling prophets to build illegally and without building permit ? Which God ? I only know Satan that does that. Only Satan does everything illegal and without building permit.

    Please tell us how that is been seen by everyone ?

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