A Federal High Court in Lagos will on November 2, rule in the suit filed by Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN’s structural engineers, Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun against the Commissioner of Police, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, the Attorney General of Lagos State and the Coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe over restricting the police from arresting or questioning the engineers over the collapse of a six-storey building within the church premises.
A Lagos coroner, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe, who conducted an inquest into the death of the 116 persons that perished in the accident, had on July 8, 2015 indicted Ogundeji and Fatiregun of criminal negligence and recommended them for criminal prosecution by Lagos State Supporters’ protest This is coming on the heels of planned moves by some of the former governor to stage a peaceful demonstration against the extended interrogation of their ‘hero’ by EFCC in Abuja.
The supporters, our reporter learned, were upset that EFCC grilled the former governor for two days despite all his monumental achievements during his eight-year tenure.
The protest would have taken place early in the week but for security intervention and counsel, which forced the protesters to leave the job for the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which eventually issued a statement condemning the action.
It will be recalled that the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, had addressed a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, calling the interrogation of Akpabio a selective, dictatorial action by the APC-led government meant to deplete the strength of his party ahead of the 2019 election.
This is also coming at a time when the man who petitioned Akpabio, Leo Ekpenyong, is unhappy with the EFCC Chairman’s handling of the interrogation of the former governor.
Petitioner calls for Lamorde’s resignation
The lawyer, in a new petition to President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, accused Lamorde of mentoring Akpabio on how to write statements that would enable him escape culpability in the corruption case, and asked that he should hands off the matter until a new helmsman is appointed for the agency.
Ekpenyong said that given the evidence already in public domain, there was no need for EFCC to be shopping for evidence to prosecute the former governor and retrieve the state’s funds from him and his associates.
Ekpenyong said: “Lamorde should resign because he is working in league with Akpabio to stall his prosecution. What he is doing now is mere window dressing in the media to give the impression that he is serious about trying the former governor.
“That is why I have sent a new petition to the Presidency to remove Lamorde from the case and appoint a man with integrity to handle the case.”
However, EFCC said last night that it would not comment on the lawyer’s new petition to Buhari until they get a copy.
It will be recalled that Akpabio was interrogated by EFCC on Friday and Saturday last week for hours over alleged diversion of Akwa Ibom State funds running into billions of Naira, a charge, he vehemently denied.