Synagogue building collapse: Lawyer threatens to sue T.B Joshua

Synagogue Building collapse

A Lagos-based lawyer, Samuel Ilori, has threatened to sue Temitope Joshua (popularly known as T.B Joshua), the founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, over the death of dozens of people after a building collapsed in the church’s premises.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, Mr. Ilori said that his group, Vote for Service Initiative, which advocates for good governance and human rights, will take up the case if the Lagos State government continues its foot-dragging.

“I started the campaign from last week that T.B Joshua must be brought to book, that justice must be done over the case,” said Mr. Ilori, a Corporate and Property Consultant.

“Because this is not the first time we will have a collapsed building, and this is not the first time that the Lagos State government has confiscated such land and made sure that the developer or the owner of the land face the law.

“What we are asking for is that government should do the needful. I believe they have concluded their investigation, as far as evacuation is concerned evacuation has been done. Everything that needed to be done, I believe has been done,” Mr. Ilori added.

A five-storey building inside the church’s premises in Ikotun, Lagos, collapsed on September 12 as three additional floors were being added to the original two-storey structure.

Eighty-six dead bodies were recovered from the rubble and 131 rescued, according to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.

On Monday, Jeff Radebe, a South African minister, said that 115 people, including 84 South Africans, died in the incident.

Both the Lagos State government and the Nigerian Institute of Building have stated that the church did not get approval before embarking on construction on the collapsed building.

The Lagos State government says it is still investigating the cause of the incident.

But Mr. Ilori accused the government of giving Mr. Joshua a preferential treatment.

“Section 74(1) of the Physical Planning and Development Law of Lagos State states inter alia that at any time there is a collapsed building within the state. Wherever it is discovered that there is a negligence on the part of the owner or the developer, that land will be confiscated and whoever is at the other side of the law will be prosecuted,” Mr. Ilori said.

“That’s exactly what we are asking for. That the Lagos State government headed by Governor Fashola should do the needful. That by now the land of Synagogue supposed to have been confiscated, especially that land where the building collapsed.

“But up till now they are still dilly dallying, up till now they are still trying to do it in a palliative way to see that they give the man a soft landing. All those shenanigan visits, I am not interested.

“How long are they going to investigate? What are they investigating? The question is, what are they investigating? They are investigating the cacophony of lies that the man put up, the first time he said it was Boko Haram, the second time he said it was one plane hovering about…

“They (the church) said they have an approval, the government said ‘bring the approval,’ they said the approval has collapsed with the building. That is nonsense. They are just giving the man enough time to buy time so that they can die this matter and that is the reason why we are not going to allow him.”

‘Criminal negligence’

Mr. Ilori said that he would take the campaign to prosecute Mr. Joshua to the social media to create a lot of awareness. “By Thursday, by his grace, my group is going to write to the Lagos State government intimating him of those things that he had done concerning criminal negligence,” Mr. Ilori said.

“In 2008, Reverend King was convicted for putting fire on one of his devotees, the lady died. Reverend King right now is waiting for the guillotine. The same thing happened to Arowolo, the man they claimed killed his wife, the Lagos State government prosecuted the man and he was sentenced to death by hanging. The man is still waiting for the hangman’s noose.

“Why is it that it comes to T.B Joshua and the government does not know what to do about it?

“We called it criminal negligence because if you have a foundation for a building that’s supposed to collect two-storey building and you take it from two-storey building to six-storey building, that is suicidal. That means you know exactly that the foundation cannot contain that building that you are building on it and you take it for granted that whatever happens, let it happen. And that’s exactly what has happened here.

“We call it criminal negligence. That is why he’s supposed to be charged for culpable homicide, because he knew very well that that foundation that contain two storey building cannot take six storey building, yet he allowed it to go on.”

At the back of the main building of The Synagogue Church, an ongoing construction is putting additional three floors to the five-storey building. The state government said it had already stopped the construction until the church presents the approval documents.

“They (the government) said they gave them three months. These are all systems of buying time, and that is the time that we don’t have. That is time we are not going to give to Lagos State government,” Mr. Ilori
said.

“Every other collapsed building in Lagos State have been taken over immediately evacuation has been done. So all these time that they are trying to buy for the man, we are not going to wait.

“Because it’s either the Lagos State government do the needful or a court of law will have to give them an order of mandamus, to tell us if Section 74 of that Physical Planning and Development law of Lagos State as amended in 2012 is no longer relevant. Because it is the Lagos State government that signed it into law.

“Lives have been lost. So the law of the land will apply,” Mr. Ilori added.


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  • amazing2012

    We are in total support to your effort to do justice to the deaths and the injured. We also pray for your religious duty to ensure truth and brought those wanting to justice as lesson to others.

  • T.B Joshua raises the dead, therefore he should start raising those who died in his building.

    Nigerians and West Africans called for ZMapp and other experimental drugs.

    Why have Nigerians and West Africans refused to call on their ANOINTED ONES
    (e.g., Adeboye and Joshua) to start laying hands on Ebola patients?

  • Otile

    This will prove to a tough one for Samuel Ilori. The man-god Bishop TB Joshua may be guilty of criminal negligence but in 9ja nothing will happen to him. Ilori must understand that all animals are equal but some are more equal. This case is like a big tsetse fly perching on the scrotum. If you try to kill it soffry soffry it flies away, if you don’t to kill it soffry soffry you crush the scrotum.

    In good English soffry soffry means gingerly

    In Hausa soffry soffry means kadan kadan

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  • D1

    I totally support this action 100%, If the authorities refused to do the right thing, the people should force them to do the needful! This is unbecoming of Lagos state government, we expect this kind of irresponsibility from GEJ, after all he is the one that doesn’t give a DAMN. As I have said several times, all these politicians are the same, all their drama, is to hoodwink the populace. This man, TB Joshua, should be made to pay for his crime. Nigeria is for us all!

  • Allayes

    You do not threaten. Either you do what you need to do or not. If you are sure about your course of action, you do it. If you are not sure, you keep quiet. If you sue, you go to court and it is the court that will make the final judgement. I believe that negligence is at the bottom of this, and someone has to pay for such negligence, otherwise the same tragedy will occur in the near future. Nigerians do not get punished for negligence, that is why we continue to replicate the same nonsense over and over again.

    • Kingdomway

      And who in your opinion should pay for it? Architect TB Joshua, Engr TB Joshua or Prophet TB Joshua? Whoever you have in mind, be warned not to touch God’s anointed.

  • jey

    taking TB tocourt is not the answer MR LAWYER is TB responsible for the collapse? Thread softy MR.

    • baba

      Yes, his negligence was responsible for the collapse.putting 4 extra floors on a 2 storey building beggars belief

      • Marina

        The cause of the collapsed is not yet established. so we do not yet know who is responsible. I am convinced that the building has been there and when was the additional storey constructed? The question is why of all days or months the building did not collapsed. It only collapsed after a strange airplane hovered over the building 4 x then in less than an hour after that. Let us not be harsh in our comment because if the same thing will happened to us what will be our reaction. Where is now the love and concern for one another?

    • Ike

      This charge and bail lawyer (liar) should get a life. God will see TB through, for only God knows the cause of this calamity.

  • Gloryland

    Talk! Talk!! Talk!!! but touch not the Lord’s anointed.

  • Amstrong

    Mr. Ilori is speaking emotionally and with characteristic antagony against TB Joshua. One would wonder if he has scores to settle. There must be a formal investigation done and its results made public by the competent authorities. Mr. Ilori doesn’t want to see that done. Secondly, he’s pointing an accusing finger on TB Joshua. The question I have to ask is who owned the building, The SCOAN, or TB Joshua? If the building belonged to a moral person and a physical person is charged, then it’s a miscarriage of justice. Thirdly, regarding permits and so forth, it would be embarrassing if such procedures are not yet computerized. The state departments were just supposed to punch into their computers and bring out the latest information regarding the building in questions. Mr. Ilori again is not even speaking on behalf of the victime and he puts revenge over human lives. This is unethical for a professional of his calibre. I think proper investigations need to be done first and it’s results made public, also taking into consideration the social climate of Nigeria and the suspicious plane evoked by the SCOAN. Secondly, Nigeria and other African countries with the 19th world mentality should upgrade their services and mitigate such unnecessary mishaps in the future.

    • Marina

      What an excellent comment of what lawyer Ilori said. You are right in every way. It seems he has a long time hatred for T. B. joshua. Its true he should not just speak or comment that way being a lawyer, its unprofessional in deed.