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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Nigerian Pastor Whose Collapsed Building Killed 108 Persons To Be Arraigned In Court Tomorrow


It may be the beginning of justice for those who lost their lives when prophet TB Joshua's illegal multi-storey building collapsed in September of last year. Three weeks ago, he had prayed the courts in Lagos, Nigeria to throw out the coroner's court findings and therefore not consider him liable for the deaths of innocent, albeit gullible, miracle seekers.
The court, of course, threw out his ludicrous request and the presiding judge described it as "ungrantable." Most of those who died were from South Africa.
Mr Joshua has been absent from the pulpit in his church for nearly six months, and may not be physically present tomorrow at the arraignment. His last public appearance was at the inauguration of Tanzania's recently elected president, whose electoral victory he purportedly foresaw. Mr Joshua's absence tomorrow is certainly a cause for concern and it may just be that this whole judicial process is a sham.
I have promised to keep a close eye on this, and I am prepared for anything, this being Nigeria. South Africa, whose citizens made up majority of the victims, has been deafeningly silent in this whole matter, and has quietly buried its dead and moved on. No one has talked about justice for the victims. Mr Joshua's sense of impunity is founded on the premise of his prominence as a renowned and well connected christian preacher. His followers have absolved him of all blame and continue to insist that a UFO caused the building to collapse.
Tomorrow, those who will appear in court, if they do, will be the engineers who added an extra storey or two to a building whose foundation could not hold the extra weight. They cannot deny that Mr Joshua was privy to their illegal, and fatal, modification. This will certainly be a test of Nigeria's notoriously corrupt judiciary, and also the new administration of president Muhammadu Buhari and his anti-corruption mantra. All we have to do is watch the events as they unfold and pray (not to any god) that justice prevails.