Joshua building collapse inquest adjourned

2014-12-03 20:11
T B Joshua (Facebook)

T B Joshua (Facebook)

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Lagos - An inquest into a deadly church building collapse in Lagos that killed 116 people resumed on Wednesday but was immediately adjourned pending a legal challenge.

The court in Nigeria's commercial hub had been due to hear from relatives of the 81 South Africans who died when the guesthouse for foreign followers of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) collapsed on 12 September.

But the coroner said proceedings should not resume until an application from the head of Scoan, preacher and televangelist TB Joshua, had been heard.

Joshua's lawyers filed a challenge last month to both the coroner and the Lagos High Court over the jurisdiction of the inquest, and whether the pastor should be compelled to give evidence.

The evangelical preacher has claimed the collapse may have been caused by a controlled explosion or aerial sabotage by a low-flying plane. But he has failed twice to appear in court, despite being summonsed.

"We cannot leave the application seeking to restrain this inquest and proceed," Coroner Oyetade Komolafe told the court.

"Other interested parties should be served. I want to adjourn to enable other parties to be served so that they can prepare their defence.

"The application will be heard on Friday and if we are through with it, we shall continue with the proceedings of the judicial inquiry into the collapsed building."

No date has been set for the High Court hearing but any ruling from the higher court would take precedent over the inquest, lawyers have indicated.

Expert witnesses have previously told the inquest that there was no explosion, and said they had discovered shoddy building work on other constructions at the site after the tragedy.

Read more on:    scoan  |  tb joshua  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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