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Twist as defendants file ‘no-case submission’ on Synagogue building collapse

At the continued hearing of the building collapse case involving Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) on Thursday, the five defendants in the case have filed a ‘no-case submission’ at a Lagos High Court, Ikeja.

It would be recalled that during that last hearing of the matter on July 13, this year, the Lagos State Government had closed its case in the matter to allow the five defendants begin their defence.

But at the resumed hearing, a twist emerged as the defendants in the case presided over by Justice Lawal-Akapo argued that having gone through the evidence submitted by the prosecution, they are left with no better option than to file no-case submission.

The ongoing trial of two engineers of the collapsed six-storey guest house of the SCOAN has been on for more than one year now.

The two engineers; Akinbela Fatiregun and Oladele Ogundeji are facing trial alongside their companies; Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company, Jandy Trust Ltd and the trustees of the church.

They are facing a 111-count charge of gross negligence and criminal manslaughter over the collapse of a six-storey guest house to which they plead not guilty.

It would be recalled that the September 12, 2014 building collapse led to the death of 116 persons, 85 of who were South Africans.

The matter is expected to continue on Friday as Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo had adjourned the case during the last hearing in July to Oct. 5, Oct. 6, Oct. 19, Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 for opening of defence.

Analysts say the twist, that is from opening defence to filing a no-case submission may further drag the matter.