The founder, Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet Temitope Joshua on Wednesday did not appear before the coroner, Magistrate O. A. Komolafe, in charge of investigations concerning the building collapse.
Speaking on his behalf, the church’s lawyer Mr. Olalekan Ojo, told the coroner that Joshua failed to turn up because because he was not served any summon.
Komolafe therefore said that the court would give Joshua another appearance date when the court reconvenes on Thursday (today).
Joshua and the contractor who built the collapsed six-storey building were to appear before the coroner on Wednesday.
Ojo said, “May I with respect inform this court that as at today no summons to appear before this honourable court has been personally served on Prophet T.B. Joshua.
“I do not want a situation where this court might be misled to believe that a witness summons has been served on the prophet. Monday was the first time that the bailiff of the court attempted to effect service on Prophet T.B. Joshua but unfortunately the prophet was not around.
“Being the chief mourner he had been getting in touch with families of those who lost their loved ones.”
Ojo stated that serving the summons to one of the church’s evangelists was not the same thing as serving Joshua in his personal capacity.
“No bailiff can depose to an affidavit that he effected service on Prophet T.B. Joshua,” Ojo said.
“I don’t even think the contractor could have been served because the court does not have the address of the contractor.”
The magistrate then suggested that Ojo receive the summon on Joshua’s behalf but his lawyer refused saying he was not permitted by the law to do so.
“The power of this court as to the issuance of summons are regulated by statute and what I have done so far is out of abundance of caution. With respect, the law does not allow me to accept a witness summons, the violation of which will attract sanction,” the lawyer said.