Synagogue Building Collapse: Court Orders Substituted Service On Contractors
The presiding judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo, directed that substituted service of the court process in the charge be effected on the contractors by pasting same on the front door of their addresses which is, 34, Akindele Street, off Collinton Bus-Stop, Alagbado, Lagos State, and 42, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos State.
The Judge also, made an order that a photographic evidence showing the Sheriff of court pasting it should be tendered before the court.
The SCOAN contractors, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun are the fourth and fifth defendants in the criminal charge filed by the Lagos State government against The Registered Trustees of the Synagogue Church of Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN), Hardrock Construction Company, and Jadny Trust Ltd, who are first to third defendants in the charge respectively.
When the matter came up for hearing, counsel to the state government, Mrs Idowu Alakija informed the court of a “motion experte” dated December 11, 2015 and filed on the same date.
She prayed the court to allow the said application.
Alakija said: “We have been able to serve the first, second and third defendants and there is proof of service to that effect.
“But we have been unable to effect service of court processes on the fourth and fifth defendants. There is a motion experte and we pray your lordship to allow us move same.
“It is seeking an order to serve the information on the fourth and fifth defendants by substituted means by pasting on their addresses.
“The affidavit evidence to show that it has been impossible to serve the fourth and fifth defendants are before this court.”
The Lagos State government had instituted the suit against the defendants before the court sequel to their indictment and subsequent recommendation for prosecution by the Coroner Inquest it set up to investigate the cause of the collapse leading to the death of 116 people mostly South Africans in September 12, 2014.
The State Coroners Court sitting in Ikeja, presided over by Chief Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe had on August 7, 2015 ruled that the church and its contractors were essentially negligent in the collapse of the six-storey building belong to the church.
But the contractors were not satisfied with the verdict, describing it as “unreasonable, one-sided and biased”
They, however, initiated two separate suits before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court sitting Lagos.
They urged Justice Buba to make an order restraining the police from inviting, arresting or prosecuting them over the victims’ death.
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