Contractors indicted for the collapse of a six-storey building at the Synagogue Church of All Nations told a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja on Wednesday that the state’s Attorney General flouted a court order by charging them to court.
The contractors – Oladele Ogundele and Akinbola Fatiregun, while speaking through their counsels, Chief E.L Akpofure (SAN) and Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon (SAN) respectively told the trial judge, Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo that there is a subsisting order of a Federal High Court granted by Justice Ibrahim Buba stopping their arraignment before the court.
At the resumed sitting of the court, the lawyers told the court the order of Justice Buba was specific to the effect that their arraignment be put on hold pending the decision of the Appeal Court.”
Justice Buba had given an order restraining the police and the AG either by itself, officers and or agents acting on their behalf from prosecuting or proceeding with the prosecution of the engineers on the basis of the coroner verdict pending the determination of the appeal against the ruling of the Federal High court.
They contended that the state ought not to file charges against them nor asked the court for order of substituting service before a Lagos High court as the order of the Federal high court is still subsisting.
“The manner of service by way of substitution is spelt out by the law. So carrying out such service in the manner they did is a nullity,” they maintained.
But the state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs. Idowu Alakija, told the court to discountenance the submissions of the defence counsels as late.
Alakija argued that the order of Justice Buba cannot stop proceeding of the court nor restrain the AG from prosecuting the defendants.
“The proceeding has commenced in this court before the order sought to restrain the AG from prosecuting them was granted by Justice Buba. The order cannot stop the proceeding,” she stated.
Source: The Nation Nigeria