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You must face coroner, Court tells Joshua



An effort by founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Prophet Temitope Joshua to halt the ongoing Coroner’s Inquest into a collapsed guest house at the church has failed.

The application filed before a Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, was denied by presiding judge, Justice Lateefa Okunnu who held that the application was premature and lacking in merit.

She said: “I find therefore the present application lacks merit and has failed in its entirety. It is accordingly dismissed.”

On whether Coroner Inquest can be sued or can sue, Justice Okunnu said that although the coroner’s court cannot be sued, but the Coroner Judge, Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe can be sued in his capacity as a coroner.

Delivering her ruling, Justice Okunnu further held that the court needed to resolve the issue whether the coroner has acted contrary to the rules of natural justice by not granting the applicants a fair hearing and whether he has exceeded the scope of a coroner’s court.

The judge said there was no evidence before the court that the Coroner had been biased against the applicant and therefore dismissed the suggestion.

She also held that the coroner judge had the prerogative to take evidence from any witness he deemed relevant to reaching his conclusions.

Counsel to SCOAN, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had asked the court to determine whether the witness summons served on Joshua to appear before the coroner did not constitute an infringement on his right to fair hearing.

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