The founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet T.B. Joshua, is to appear before the coroner investigating the cause of the church’s building that collapsed on September 12.
Joshua will appear on November 5, 2014, along with the contractor in charge of the collapsed six-storey building, which claimed no fewer than 115 lives.
The coroner, Magistrate O.A. Komolafe, during the sitting of the court on Friday, stated that the appearance of the church’s founder was important to the findings of the court.
Though, counsel for the church, Mr. Jude Nnadi (SAN), argued that the appearance of the pastor would not be necessary, “as he was not an eyewitness,” Komolafe insisted that Joshua would have to appear.
The magistrate, who said he had heard that Joshua had addressed the press at various times, said the pastor must also appear before the court to give evidence.
Komolafe said, “We have heard that he has been addressing the press at various times. Let him come and address the court.
“The court has summoned him; let him come and tell us what he knows. He cannot sit over there and be sending words to us that he cannot come.
“The court has said that for the purpose of what we are doing that he should come over.”
Meanwhile, a Chief Operational Officer with the Lagos State Fire Service, Adebayo Musiliu, told the court on Friday that his observation revealed that the building did not collapse as a result of an explosion.
Musiliu, who said he had 34 years of experience in rescue operation, insisted that there was nothing to suggest that the accident occurred as a result of an explosion.
He said, “All the bodies recovered were whole and not dismembered or burnt. Also there were no scattered bricks. The floors and pillars were also not shattered, rather the building had collapsed on top of each other.
“The collapsed building did not depict any sign of explosion or implosion.”
The coroner’s sitting was adjourned till Tuesday.