The arraignment of Trustees of Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) and two engineers charged along with their companies over the collapsed building that killed 116 persons on 12 September, 2014 was stalled on Thursday following a new application seeking to quash the charge.
Trustees of the church, Engineer Akinbola Fatiregun and his company, HardRock Construction and Engineering Company, Engineer Oladele Ogundeji and his company Jadny Trust Ltd are facing 110 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo had on 8 February fixed Thursday, 18 February, for arraignment, having dismissed an earlier application challenging the manner in which the court summons was served on the defence.
At Thursday’s proceedings, the scheduled arraignment could not proceed as counsel to HardRock Construction and Engineering Company, E. L. Akpofure (SAN) informed the court that he had filed an application seeking to quash the charge.
Akpofure told the court that there was nothing in the proof of evidence linking his client to the charges before the court.
A similar application was also filed by Olalekan Ojo on behalf of his client, Engineer Oladele Ogundeji.
Counsel to Engineer Fatiregun, Titilola Akinlanwo (SAN) also told the court that her client had also filed an application for a stay of the court proceedings.
She insisted that the court has the obligation of hearing the application before any arraignment could take place.
Prosecuting team led by Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija did not oppose the hearing of the application but asked for reasonable time to respond to all the applications.
In his ruling, Justice Lawal-Akapo held that the applications should be taken first before arraignment.
He said: “In view of the decisions of the Appellate Court in Awene v State which states that all interlocutory applications challenging the jurisdiction of the court should be heard first before an arraignment, this court adjourns till March 4, 2016 at 9am for aurgument of all pending applications.”