The founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Temitope Joshua, has approached an Ikeja High court to quash the proceedings of the coroner’s inquest into the collapse of a guest house belonging to his church.
The collapse killed 115 person.
In an application filled before Justice Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos High court in Ikeja, the pastor asked the court to prohibit the coroner court of Lagos State and Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe who presided over the court, from exceeding their jurisdiction in investigating the disaster.
Justice Okunnu has fixed December 3 for hearing of the application.
Mr. Joshua also prayed for an order stopping the coroner court from summoning him to give evidence.
The pastor’s application reads, among other parts, as follows: “The coroner who relied on his personal knowledge of the facts of the case is not a proper person to preside at the inquest. Adding that the coroner relied on extraneous matters not borne out of the records to reach his conclusion that the 2nd applicant (T.B Joshua) is a necessary witness when in fact is not is a breach of the rules of natural justice and fair hearing.
“Prohibiting the coroner from conducting further inquest/proceedings for reasons of his bias/likelihood of bias and for and/or from taking evidence/proceedings relating to the construction of the collapsed building which facts are clearly outside the scope of a coroner’s inquest.
“An order prohibiting the respondent from insisting on the personal attendance of the 2nd applicant as such will be without or in excess of jurisdiction, unconstitutional and lawful; restrain the respondents as presently constituted from further conducting any inquest into the collapsed building of SCOAN, as 2nd respondent has demonstrated personal interest in the subject matter and his neutrality clearly compromised”.
Mr. Joshua also sought an order restraining the coroner from continuing to take evidence/proceedings on the issue of approval and construction of the collapsed building which issues are clearly outside the scope of a coroner’s inquest.
Speaking in the court, the magistrate, Oyetade Komolafe, said Mr. Joshua should learn from the South African Ambassador who appeared before the coroner despite his immunity.