A group of youths across the 19 states of the North under the aegis of ‘Coalition of Northern Youths,’ has faulted Thursday’s verdict of the Lagos coroner’s court which indicted the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), describing it as judicial ravings and a rape of justice.
Addressing journalists after its emergency meeting in Kaduna on Friday, the chairman of the coalition, Gambo Ibrahim noted that the verdict was biased, malicious and one-sided, saying “we fear that the judiciary has compromised in this case and strongly disagree with Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe that structural defects were responsible for the failure of the six-storey building.”
According to Gambo Ibrahim, “some enemies of progress, who are equally enemies of the state, and who are not happy with the good works of Prophet TB Joshua, are bent on pulling him down.”
He said youths from the North were aware of how Prophet TB Joshua had positively touched many lives in and outside Nigeria through his ministry, philanthropy, empowerment and intervention programmes.
On his part, the secretary of the coalition, John Bitrus likened Prophet TB Joshua’s case to the Biblical fact that “a prophet is not recognised in his home.”
The coalition has, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter, in view of Synagogue’s immense contributions to the socio-economic development of Nigeria, as well as the spiritual well-being of the people.
It said that the verdict lacked merit as it failed to refer to the CCTV footage which showed the 6-storey building falling in less than 4 seconds.
The Lagos Coroner, Magistrate Komolafe had on Wednesday called for the investigation and prosecution of the church over its failure to obtain the necessary permit and approval before commencing the construction of the collapsed building.
Komolafe had also called for the investigation and prosecution the two contractors who handled the collapsed structure, engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun, of HardRock Construction Company Limited, for “criminal negligence.”
It would also be recalled that the Lagos State Government had set up the Inquest under the state Coroner’s System Law No.7 of 2007 to investigate the cause and circumstances resulting in the death of 116 people, mostly foreigners.