Admin l Friday, November 03, 2017
IKEJA, Nigeria – The Lagos State Government today opposed the no-case submission filed by counsel to Registered Trustees of the Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN).
The Lagos State Government had dragged Registered Trustees of the church to court over collapse of SCOAN on September 2014, during which 116 persons, mostly South Africans were killed.
The defendants in the case are the Registered Trustees of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations and the two engineers who built the collapsed six-storey building. The engineers, Messrs Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun, were charged alongside their companies – Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Limited.
They are facing 110 counts of involuntary manslaughter while the Registered Trustees of SCOAN are facing one count of building without approval. The Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions said the defendants violated Section 75 of the Urban and Regional Planning Law of Lagos State 2010 as well as Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
They were arraigned on April 19, 2016 but they pleaded not guilty. The state subsequently opened its case, called witnesses and tendered documents to prove the allegations against the defendants.
Upon the closure of the state’s case in October this year, the defendants, rather than enter their defence, filed no-case submission, contending that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.
The defence counsel, Cheif Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Chief Efe Akpofure (SAN), Mrs. Titi Akinlawon (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo, said there was nothing in the evidence of led by the prosecution to warrant their client to proceed into any defence.
They urged the court to discharge them and let them go. The court had adjourned till Friday for the state to respond to the no-case submission. But at the resumed proceedings on Friday, the lead prosecuting counsel for the state, Mr. Jide Martins, said the state had yet to file its response to the defendant’s no-case submission.
Consequently, the judge adjourned further proceedings till November 24.The SCOAN’s building, which collapsed on September 12, 2014, killed no fewer than 116 persons, 85 of whom were South Africans.