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Court Awards N25, 000 Cost Against Synagogue Church for Delaying Hearing of Suit Against Coroner

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An Ikeja High Court has awarded a N25, 000 cost against the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) and its founder, Prophet Temitope Joshua, for delaying further hearing of their suit against a Lagos state coroner.

Justice Lateefa Okunnu awarded the cost against the applicants on Tuesday for “wasting the time of the court and tax payers’ money”.

The applicants had sued the coroner, Mr Oyetade Komolafe, and the Lagos State Government, over its ongoing inquest into the collapse of SCOAN guest house.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 116 persons were killed after the six-storey building collapsed on September 12, 2014.

In the suit filed by SCOAN and its founder by their counsel, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), they had asked for a judicial review of the proceedings before the coroner’s inquest which began on October 13, 2014.

They had prayed the court to declare that the coroner had exceeded the jurisdiction of a coroner’s court by delving into areas that were beyond its scope.

However, at the resumption of hearing on Tuesday, Fagbemi told the court that he had filed two fresh applications relating to the suit.

“We filed two processes yesterday. One is a motion and the other one is the applicants consolidated Reply on Points of Law,” he said.

Responding, Counsel to the respondents, Mr Mr Karmardeen Bakare, said the processes were served on his team in court and he needed time to prepare his reply.

He, therefore, urged the court for an adjournment to enable him examine the applications.

Following the development, the judge said it was clear that the day’s proceedings could not go on as scheduled.

Okunnu observed that the suit had been adjourned several times at the instance of the applicants.

She, therefore, awarded the N25,000 cost against them.

The court also ordered that they should file an affidavit of compliance before the next adjournment date of February 20.

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