The Lagos State High Court presided over by Justice Lateefa Okunnu has ruled that the Coroner inquest into the cause of the collapsed six-storey building of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, has the legal right to issue witness summon on T.B Joshua, head of the church to testify on the matter.
The court also decided on Friday, March 6, 2015 that the Coroner as a court cannot be sued.
Prophet Joshua had approached the court to stop the Coroner from inviting him to bear witness in the matter; arguing that the Coroner was going beyond its legal limit and exercising his personal bias on the matter.
But Justice Okunnu held that the there is no extent the Coroner cannot go to obtain information necessary to unravel the cause of the collapse that claimed about 116 lives last year. She maintained that the Coroner who doubles as a Magistrate has the legal power to summon and even issue warrant of arrest against anyone involved in a case before it.
The implication of the ruling is that Joshua will have to appear before the coroner, while the inquest continues or he will be “flouting the law,” Okunnu said.
Reacting after the judgment, Akinjide Bakare, Counsel to the Lagos State government expressed believe that Joshua will obey the court order because “the person in question is a man of God, and God is a God of justice.”
There are legal sanctions that could be exercised against Joshua including warrant of arrest if he flouts the court judgment.