The church of popular evangelist TB Joshua is being sued following the collapse of one of its buildings in 2014, which killed 116 people.
Two South African children, whose father Kalambaie wa Kalambaie died in the incident, are looking for at least $520,000 (£370,000) in damages. The figure is supposed to compensate for the amount their father would have been expected to provide the children, now aged three and six, until he was 70.
Synagogue Church of All Nations, Joshua’s church, is facing charges for criminal negligence after its six-storey guesthouse, which did not have planning permission, collapsed in 2014.
The children’s lawyer, Bolaji Ayorinde, said they were not the only ones interested in filing action. He told the BBC he had received lots of inquiries from others who were relatives of those who died.
The famous Nigerian pastor has not yet been charged but the engineers responsible for the building face criminal charges, according to the BBC.
Joshua and church have denied all wrongdoing. The pastor claims the building fell down after a “hovering” aircraft flew over it.
The well-known evangelist is known as the “Prophet” to his followers and runs a healing ministry as well as a Christian television station, Emmanual TV. In 2011 he was listed the third richest pastor in Nigeria by Forbes, which estimated his worth at $15 million.
Although he does not face charges himself, he could be charged with contempt of court after he failed to show up for a trial last year, along with the two engineers charged.
“It appears the defendants are not mindful that this is a criminal proceeding. This is a criminal trial and a sensitive matter like this one should be given accelerated hearing,” said Judge Lawal-Akapo at Lagos Crown Court.