On the 5th November, TB Joshua was summoned to court as a witness in the inquiry into the SCOAN building collapse. He didn’t turn up, because (his lawyer said) he hadn’t personally received a witness summons. This is only a half truth, because his lawyer had received it on his behalf, something that is perfectly valid according to Lagos State law.
On the 18th of November, he failed to turn up to court for a second time. This time, no excuse was given, and the lawyer said he would order his arrest. The next day, lawyers acting on behalf of TB Joshua filed an application to Lagos State High Court asking them to declare that the invitation on him to appear as a witness before the coroner was a breach of his right to fair hearing, as no case had been established against his person before the coroner (source).
This last sentence is very revealing. At this stage TB Joshua is only being called as a witness, and surely nobody can argue that the general overseer of a church who’s guesthouse collapsed, killing over 100 people isn’t an essential witness in the inquest. A witness is just someone who is thought to have knowledge relevant to the event, a witness doesn’t need a case established against them before appearing in court!
According to SCOAN, this building collapse was an attack on them. This means over 100 of their visitors were murdered by an unknown terrorist organisation. If they believe they have evidence supporting their claim, they should be going straight to court as a witness to present it, rather than uploading videos on youtube. Secondly, they should have immediately ceased holding large public gatherings on a site that had been compromised by terrorists. The fact they have done neither of these things is clear evidence that they don’t believe their own stories and they’re just lying to cover up their own guilt. Why else would TB Joshua be acting as if he’s a defendant while he’s only a witness in the case?
We close this article with comments from TB Joshua’s lawyer after his second non-appearance, interspersed with our own comments:
“The Prophet has respect for the law of the land and will not do anything that will hurt the law,If at the end of the day, it is appropriate for The Prophet to appear he will be in court.
TBJW Comment:It is entirely appropriate that “The prophet” (sorry, capital P is not appropriate here) appear in court as a witness, over 100 people died in his guesthouse! The fact that he has failed to show up twice (without prior warning) shows that he has no respect for the law of the land and is not afraid to hurt it.
We do not intend to abuse the legal process.
TBJW Comment:You have already been abusing the legal process by not turning up to court and submitting “evidence” of what you think happened to youtube rather than to the court.
Besides, The Prophet has a milk of human kindness. He is still grieving over the horrendous loss of lives. Coming to court is not proper. It is not a good way of showing respect for the dead.”
TBJW Comment:Showing respect for the dead would have meant allowing rescue workers to immediately gain access to the site to save more lives. It would mean not trying to cover up the disaster by claiming it had just involved a few people who were now being rescued. It would have meant cancelling the meeting the next day, rather than continuing as normal while a few hundred metres away people were dying in agony. It would have meant telling the truth to reporters, not bribing them to only report the good things. It would have meant paying for private mortuaries so the bodies didn’t rot beyond recognition in inadequate facilities. It would have meant immediately releasing list of people present in the building so the investigation could be conducted. It would have meant giving all the assistance required to the court in order to discover the truth and get justice for the dead.
Why is TB Joshua avoiding court? It appears he’s worried the truth will be known.