Despite the Coroner’s threat to order the arrest of Prophet T. B Joshua if he failed to show up to testify in the ongoing investigation of the death of 116 people who were killed at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) building collapse on September 12, the cleric has called his bluff as he failed to appear on Wednesday.
“The court has the power to summon whoever it deems necessary to assist it,” the Coroner, Oyetade Komolafe had told the hearing last week.
If Joshua had appeared, he would have been questioned over his claim that the building collapsed after an aircraft hovered round the building. Experts have however said the building collapsed due to a stress on its foundations as stories unplanned for were added to the building without reinforcing the foundation.
Responding to questions raised about his client’s whereabouts, Joshua’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo stated that “The Man of God has not been personally served the witness summons.”
“He was unavoidably absent when the sheriff went for the service. We don’t want the impression to be created that The Prophet is avoiding the court.”
Ojo refused to accept the witness summons on behalf of Joshua, saying he was not authorised to do so, but promised to tell the court when his client would be available.
He also added that the building contractors did not receive their summonses because they could not be identified or located.
The Coroner, Komolafe however said: “We want Prophet Joshua to know that the court is not persecuting anybody but (trying) to find the truth. He should come.
“As a prophet of God that he claims to be, he must not do anything that will make him to be at variance with the law.”