Trial of Synagogue engineers begins tomorrow

Collapse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos Nigeria

Collapse of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos Nigeria

An Ikeja High Court has fixed June 3 for the trial of the two engineers, who constructed the collapsed seven-storey guesthouse building of the Synagogue Church of All Nations at Ikotun, a Lagos suburb.

The defendants are Akinbela Fatiregun and Oladele Ogundeji.

The engineers alongside their companies, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company and Jandy Trust Ltd and the Synagogue trustees, are facing a 111-count charge of gross negligence and criminal manslaughter. The collapsed guesthouse led to the death of 116 persons on September 12, 2014, 85 of who were South Africans.

Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo adjourned the case to give the defence more time to study the proof of evidence filed by the prosecution. “This case is hereby adjourned to Friday, June 3, 2016 at 10 a.m.,” Lawal-Akapo ruled.

Earlier, Mrs Idowu Alakija, the state Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), informed the court that she had just filed the proof of evidence and requested that the trial should continue.

“My Lord, we have filed an additional proof of evidence, we were not able to file all that was contained in the list of exhibits. I request a stand down to give the defence the opportunity to look through the proof of evidence that we filed to enable us continue the trial immediately.”

Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), a defence counsel representing the trustees of Synagogue, however, objected to Alakija’s request for a stand down.

He said: “It was only this morning that the additional proof of evidence was filed.A stand down would not work because I need at least a day to study the proof of evidence and it involves us calling in experts to analyse it, which will aid our cross-examination.”

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