Imagine a land without laws. The laws of God or the laws of men, regardless. Imagine the level of tyrannous greed and impunity, people might choose to act in such a lawless society. Visualize a society where you have the good, the bad and the ugly in the gods. Imagine ““ just imagine ““ a system where the gods are above the law. To some, that would mean abundant benevolent helps and unhindered protection from the gods amongst the citizens. But what happens if the gods are tyrants? Wow! Never thought of that! While I leave you busy cracking your brain, trying to figure out the composition of such a society, I am off to Nigeria. You insist on following me? Well, who am I to prevent you; after all, I am not so much in the mood of being accused of undemocratic acts?
Lagos Coroner’s court. Following the death on September 12 of 116 dedicated worshippers at the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) as a result of the fatal collapse of the church building in Ikotun area of the state, the Lagos Coroner’s court had invited the self acclaimed prophet and general overseer of the church, TB Joshua to appear before the court of law to enumerate what happened on the eventful day. Unfortunately, the Nigerian preacher, had refused to appear before the court, despite that he had been summoned for the second time ““ first on November 5 – to do so. The action of the Man of God had irked the coroner Oyetade Komolafe, who angrily vowed to order his arrest.
Rather, TB Joshua had sent his legal gods to mount a juristic challenge against the Lagos Coroner’s decision to summon the preacher to testify about the tragedy, which had attracted a lot of condemnation, amongst others, from family members and friends of the victims, who complained bitterly that the Man of God did little too late after the tragedy. The mountainous allegations from the family members of the deceased against TB Joshua, clearly put some stains in the supposedly Puritan character of the preacher. Amongst others, the allegation of the silence of the preacher after the accident, his contested theory that the accident might have been caused by a hovering plane before the accident, his initial refusal to accept help from outside, which, according to the victim`s families, would have saved lives, the prevention of deceased family members from immediate access to the bodies of their beloved ones and before you forget, the preacher`s “martyrs” baptism of the lost ones, all contributed to the anger of the victim`s families and friends, who accused the preacher of a double standard and insensibilities.
“We have gone to the high court to challenge the jurisdiction of the coroner to issue, a witness summons. The coroner has unconsciously exceeded his jurisdiction in that he has started inquiring into matters that are not causative of deaths.” Olalekan Ojo, one of the pastor’s lawyers told Kata Kata`s reporter after the hearing.
But the coroner Oyetade Komolafe`s anger did not arise from the preacher`s court absence, he was equally surprised that the Man of God had rather chosen to disobey both the law of God and men, by refusing to show some degree of respect, remorse and solidarity to the families of the victims, who had regarded him as their source of salvation and a revered medium between them and God.
“Any of the witnesses who is not in court today will be arrested. I think the court has been lenient enough. If you think the court has unconsciously exceeded his jurisdiction, does it stop the witness from appearing before this honourable court and proving to the court that it has gone beyond its legal boundary?” Komolafe insisted furiously.
For those who are watching the court drama ““ especially those who have lost innocent family members and friends – the action of the preacher, according to one Nzuguma, from South Africa, who lost his sister during the church building collapse, seems to give them the impression that the Man of God is perhaps insensitive to the suffering of the loved ones. Some lamented that the court summon would have, ironically, given TB Joshua the lost opportunity to redeem his tarnished image and character after the tragedy, by showing the world that he truly shares the agony of the families and friends of the lost ones, who paid thousands of dollars to the coffer of his church only to perish in vain.
“If obeying the law of men and land by honouring the court summon and assisting it with an account of what lead to the death of his faithful worshipers is a big task for the prophet, what can one say of Jesus, the assumed master of Prophet TB Joshua who willingly gave up and sacrificed himself for the sins of those who might not even appreciate his heroic act? Nzuguma ask sarcastically.
“We don’t want the impression to be created that The Prophet is avoiding the court. The Prophet has respect for the law of the land and will not do anything that will hurt the law.” Mr Ojo, one of the TB Joshua`s legal titans intimidated.
” 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.” Mr Ojo added, showing the court a soaked handkerchief, with a liquid dropping uncontrollably.
Unfortunately, Kata Kata`s reporter could not ascertain whether the dropping liquid was from tears or water.
Definitely, prophet TB Joshua, a very wealthy and popular preacher who enjoys the enviable support of highly influential and powerful individuals globally, has the chance to prove to the world and particularly, to the families and friends of the lost ones, that he is indeed the servant of God he claims to be. That includes following the footpaths of his Master, Jesus and obeying the law of men, who are essentially the backbone of his popularity and wealth. More than that, how the preacher shows respect to the beloved dead who died trying to be with him and how he shares the agony of those the dead left behind, determines whether TB Joshua will be regarded as a true follower of his Master or just another tyrant god who believes to be above the law and the people, who have made him what he is.
Gods and goddesses exist because people make them to; their godliness and relevance ceases to exist once the people withdraw their support for them.
The above story is a parody. It is entirely fictitious; therefore none of the characters mentioned in the story are real