A no-case application was filed before an Ikeja High Court by the Registered Trustees of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and other defendants in the ongoing trial of the collapsed six-storey guest house belonging to the church.
Facing a 111-count charge of gross negligence and criminal manslaughter preferred against them by Lagos State Government, the trustees of the church and the two engineers who built the collapsed building– Akinbela Fatiregun and Oladele Ogundeji alongside their companies – Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company, Jandy Trust Limited, pleaded not guilty.
Temitope Joshua is the senior pastor and founder of the church.
The Trustees all appeared before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo over the September 12, 2014, six-storey building collapse which led to the death of 116 persons, 85 of who were South Africans.
The defendants, who were supposed to open their defence following the prosecution closing its case, told the court that having gone through the evidence submitted by the prosecution, it was clear that they did not have any case to answer.
The prosecution led by Ms P.K. Shitta-Bey, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), had in July closed its case and told the court that the defence team had finished the cross-examination of the eight witnesses in the case.
“We will like to inform the court that this is the end of the prosecution’s case,” Shitta-Bey had told the court after the defence team finished cross-examining the eight and last prosecution witness.
However, Justice Lawal-Akapo, after listening to the plaintiff and defendants adjourned the case for further hearing till November 3, 2017 and for the adoption of written addresses by the defence counsel.
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