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Nigeria: Appeal Court Reserves Ruling On ‘No Case Submission’ in SCOAN Collapsed Building


The Lagos department of Appeal Court has reserved judgment within the attraction filed against the ruling of Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo with regards to collapsed Synagogue Church of All Nations’ construction (SCOAN), which killed about 116 individuals.

The pass judgement on had reserved ruling to a date to be communicated to events concerned within the subject.

Justice Lawal-Akapo of a Lagos State High Court had on March 9, brushed aside the ‘No case submission filed by means of the defendants/appellants – the 2 engineers, who built the construction, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun and their companies – Hardrock Construction and Jandy Trust Ltd.

They had been charged by means of Lagos State for alleged involuntary manslaughter, gross negligence or reckless overlook for human lifestyles over the SCOAN guesthouse that collapsed on September 12, 2014.

Justice Lawal-Akapo whilst ruling on their ‘No case submission, had established a prima facie case against the defendants/appellants to warrant them being referred to as upon to go into their defence.

But disappointed with the ruling of the decrease courtroom, the defendants/appellants made up our minds to way the appellate courtroom, asking it to upturn the ruling of the decrease courtroom.

Four Senior Advocates of Nigeria who represented the defendants/appellants – Efe Akpofure, Titilola Akinlawon, Akeem Afolabi and Olalekan Ojo, canvassed vigorously, their arguments against that of the Director of Public Prosecution, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Ms. Titilayo Shitta-Bey.

The defendants/appellants suggest argued before a 3 man panel headed by means of the presiding Justice, Justice Abraham Georgewill, that there used to be no prima facie proof linking the defendants/appellants with the fees filed against them.

They contended that the state has now not been ready to ascertain the important elements of the offences against the defendants/appellants.

Specifically, Olalekan Ojo (SAN) argued before the appellate courtroom that his consumer used to be charged for committing manslaughter in admire of sure named individuals.

His phrases: “My Lord, no identify of any of the deceased individuals used to be given. Furthermore, no documentary proof, no death certificates issued to turn reason for death in addition to identification of those that died, and we filed a ‘No case submission.

“In the absence of these vital pieces of evidence, there cannot be any case against them.”

On her section, Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon (SAN), submitted that the prosecution offered now not an iota of proof, including that up until now, the prosecution has now not pointed to any offense dedicated by means of the defendants/appellants.

“We argued before the lower court that the prosecution had no scintilla of evidence that is credible and we made a ‘No case submission but the court overruled us. That is why we are here.”

Responding to their arguments, the DPP, Ms. Shitta-Bey, advised the courtroom to push aside the attraction and uphold the ruling of the decrease courtroom.

She stated, “The pathologist examined the deceased and he was also in court to give evidence.”

The defendants/appellants are dealing with 110-count fee of involuntary manslaughter whilst the Registered Trustees of SCOAN used to be charged with one rely fee of creating with out approval.

Their alleged offence used to be stated to have contravened Section 75 of the Urban and Regional Planning Law of Lagos State, 2010 in addition to Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

They had been arraigned on April 19, 2016 and pleaded now not responsible to all of the fees.

The prosecution due to this fact opened its case, referred to as witnesses and tendered paperwork to turn out the allegations against the defendants.

However, upon the shut of the prosecution’s case in October 2017, the defendants filed a ‘No-case submission, contending that the prosecution failed to ascertain a prima facie case against them.

The defence insisted that there used to be not anything within the proof by means of the prosecution to warrant their consumer to continue into any defence.





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