Registered Trustees of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, has insisted that the Lagos State Coroner Court, which presided over the inquest into the collapsed six-storey building within the premises of the church, does not exist in law.
SCOAN also said there is need for a judicial review of the Lagos State coroner system.
The registered trustees had filed the suit before Justice Kazeem Alogba of an Ikeja High Court, seeking an order quashing the verdict of the coroners’ court presided over by Magistrate Komolafe Oyetade on the grounds that it exceeded its statutory jurisdiction.
Komolafe and the Attorney-General, Lagos State, are listed as respondents in the suit.
At the resumption of proceedings, yesterday, Counsel to SCOAN, E.L Akpofure, SAN, informed the court of a filed application challenging the jurisdiction of the coroner’s court.
“The Coroner’s Court of Lagos State, Alimosho District, which presided over and delivered the verdict, is unknown to the Coroner’s Court of Lagos State, 2007 and Coroner’s System Law (Subsidiary Legislation) which established Coroner’s Court in Lagos State.
“The Lagos Coroner’s System Law, 2007 only established Lagos, Ikeja, Yaba and Apapa districts and the Alimosho Coroner’s district which presided over the Synagogue building collapse inquest was not a creation of the law,” Akpofure maintained.
He added that the inquest acted in excess of its jurisdiction.
“The respondents maintained that adding Alimosho to all the processes filed in court was a judicial slip.”
Akpofure argued that the coroner succinctly carried out his office in all his capacity, arrogating jurisdiction to himself despite a pending appeal challenging it.
He therefore called on the court to order a proper judicial review of the coroner system.
“There is nothing like Alimosho Coroner District. It does not exist in law and neither is Ikotun Egbe tied to any of the districts,” he maintained.
Responding to the application, Counsel to Lagos State, Adeniji Kazeem, who is also the State Attorney-General, asked the court to dismiss the application.
He maintained that it was dead on arrival as it did not meet Order 40 of the Lagos State Coroner Law.
“The law is succinctly spelt out. The verdict of the coroner was delivered on July 8, 2015 and they brought their application challenging the jurisdiction six months after its verdict. All they sought for in their application was an extension of time,” the AG said.
After listening to all the arguments, Justice Alogba adjourned the matter to February 19, for ruling on the application.

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