Court Dismisses Synagogue Engineers’ Bid To Evade Prosecution

Court Dismisses Synagogue Engineers’ Bid To Evade ProsecutionThe Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the fundamental human rights enforcement suits filed by the engineers who constructed the collapsed six-story building at the Synagogue Church Of All Nations.

The collapse of the building, which occurred on September 12, 2014 in Ikotun area of Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city, led to the death of 116 persons in which most of them were foreigners.

Criminal Negligence

The Lagos State Government had promptly set up a Coroner’s Inquest to unravel what went wrong.

The Coroner Magistrate, Oyetade Komolafe, through a verdict delivered on August 7, 2015, indicted the engineers and the church and recommended them for investigation and prosecution for criminal negligence.

The engineers, Mr Oladele Ogundeji and Mr Akinbela Fatiregun, swiftly filed two separate suits before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, seeking an order restraining the police from inviting, arresting or prosecuting them over the victims’ death.

In his ruling on the defendants’ preliminary objection, Justice Buba held that the engineers “had not made out a case of infringement of their fundamental rights even on the merit of the application”.

He also held that the Coroner Law was an enactment of the Lagos State House of Assembly which was constitutionally empowered to make laws in the state, adding that “the Federal High Court cannot dabble into the affairs of the state to start dishing out injunctive orders”.

The judge then maintained that the prayers by the engineers, asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Lagos State Attorney General or any officer under his authority from initiating or commencing criminal proceedings against them, cannot be granted in the circumstance of the case under review.

The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, subsequently hailed Justice Buba on his verdict.

He said that the State government would immediately seek the arraignment and prosecution of the suspects at the Lagos High Court, where charges were already pending before Justice Lawal Akapo.

Lagos Sanitation: Court Nullifies Movement Restriction

Court-LagosA Federal High Court in Lagos has proclaimed as unlawful, the restriction of citizens’ movement during the environmental sanitation exercise that is been observed in Lagos every month.

The preceding judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Mohammed Idris, ruled on Monday, that such restraint of movement, in the name of sanitation, amounted to an infringement of the “citizens’ right to personal liberty and freedom of movement” protected by sections 35 and 41 of the Nigerian Constitution.

However, he nullified the power of the Lagos State Government and its agencies to arrest any citizen found moving, when the environmental sanitation exercise is being observed.

The environmental sanitation exercise is being observed from 7:00am to 10:00am on the last Saturday of every month in Lagos State.

Movement is been restricted in all parts of the state and violators are arrested and prosecuted by the state enforcement agencies.