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Synagogue’s collapsed building: We have no case to answer, say engineers, trustees

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The two engineers charged with criminal manslaughter in the Sept. 12, 2014 six-storey building collapse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Lagos, on Thursday told an Ikeja High Court that they have no case to answer.

The engineers — Akinbela Fatiregun and Oladele Ogundeji — are facing trial alongside their companies — Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company, Jandy Trust Ltd and the trustees of the church.

TB Joshua-Synagogue Church

They were arraigned on an 111-count charge of gross negligence and criminal manslaughter following the collapse of the guest house.

They all plead not guilty.

The tragic incident left no fewer than 116 persons dead, 85 of whom were South Africans.

During Thursday’s proceedings, counsel to the church, the engineers and their companies — Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Chief Efe Akpofure (SAN), Mrs. Titi Akinlawon (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo — unanimously filed a no-case submission.

They noted that after going through the evidence presented by the prosecution, the accused clearly had no case to answer.

Justice Lateef Lawal- Akapo ordered the prosecution led by Ms P.K. Shitta-Bey, the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to file a response to the no-case submission within 14 days.

“The prosecution shall reply to all the addresses filed within 14-days from today with liberty to the applicants to reply on points of law, if need be, within seven days from the date of service,” he said.

Some traditional rulers, businessmen as well as some Nollywood actors including Jide Kosoko, Ojo Arowosafe popularly called Fadeyi Oloro were in the packed courtroom.

The case was adjourned until Nov. 3 for adoption of final written addresses.


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