Building Collapse: Court Grants Remanded Synagogue Engineers Bail

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Akinwale Akintunde
The two engineers who constructed the collapsed six-storey guest house belonging to the Synagogue Church of all Nation (SCOAN),  Oladele Ogundeji and Akinbela Fatiregun were yesterday released on bail.

Justice Lateef Lawal-Akapo had on April 26 remanded the duo in prison after they were  arraigned with their companies, Hardrock Construction and Engineering Company; and Jandy Trust Limited alongside the Trustees of SCOAN.

The defendants were arraigned before an Ikeja High Court on 111-count charge bordering on criminal negligence, manslaughter and failure to obtain building permit preferred against them by the Lagos State Government for their involvement in the September 12, 2014 collapse of a six-storey guest house belonging to the church, which led to the death of 116 persons.

Ruling on the bail applications, Justice Lawal-Akapo admitted the engineers to bail in the sum of N10 million  with two sureties having considered the arguments in the light of cited authorities by opposing parties.

According to the judge, one of the sureties must be a civil servant who is not less than grade 14 level while the second surety must be a property owner in Lagos State.
He said the sureties must provide evidence of three years tax payments, in addition to the conditions, utility bill to verify the addresses of the sureties and which would be verified by the police.

The judge added that the accused must submit their travelling passports among others.
Counsel to the engineers, Mrs. Titi Akinlawon (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo had argued in their bail applications that the “offences committed by the defendant is a bailable offences.”
They also told the court that “granting the defendants bail will put them in best position to prepare for his trial.
The lawyers also promised that the defendants would not jump bail.