The trial of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) Trustees and the two engineers that handled the construction of the collapsed building belonging to the church has been delayed after three new applications were filed before Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo of the Lagos High Court on Thursday, 18th February 2016.
Counsel to Hardrock Construction Ltd., Chief E.L. Akpofure (SAN), informed the court that he had filed an application seeking to quash the charges against his client on the premise that there was no proof of evidence linking his client to the charges proffered against him.
In a related development, counsel to Eng. Oladele Ogundeji, Mr Olalekan Ojo also told the court that he had filed a similar application on behalf of his client while urging the court to stay proceedings pending the hearing of the applications.
Counsel to Eng. Akinbola Fatiregun, Titilola Akinlawon (SAN) further informed the court of an application seeking a stay of proceedings which she had filed on behalf of her client. Speaking with unanimity of intent, the three counsels urged the court to hear the applications before embarking on the arraignment of the respondents who had been slammed with a 110-count charge of involuntary manslaughter by the Lagos State Government.
Though the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija had tried to argue that the applications do not affect the process of arraignment, she was reminded, through a couple of examples by the judge, that there was a fundamental need to grant the requests of the counsels in order to ensure fairness.
Justice Lawal-Akapo, after a series of debates with both the defence and prosecution counsels, adjourned till Friday March 4 2016 for hearing of the applications.
Nosa Osazuwa, a writer from Lagos, was present throughout court proceedings.