By James Ogunnaike
•It’s an act of executive recklessness — Gbenga Daniel
•Structure contravened our laws —Ogun govt
FORMER governor of Ogun State, Senator Gbenga Daniel and the Ogun State government, yesterday, disagreed over the demolition of a plaza belonging to the former governor’s wife.
While Senator Daniel described the demolition of his wife’s property in Ijebu Ode as an act of executive recklessness and lawlessness, the state government said the structure contravened the state’s physical planning laws.
Agents of the Ogun state government, on Sunday, demolished the DATKEM plaza in Ijebu Ode belonging to a former first lady of the state, Olufunke Daniel.
Daniel, in a statement by his lawyer, Mr Adeyinka Kotote, SAN, of PAGE Law office, insisted that the state government ignored court papers served on its agents on September 7, asking them to stop all actions on the building.
The statement reads: “This matter began when the Ogun State Planning and Development Authority sealed the building on August 1 without any prior notice.
“Interestingly, a quit notice was only served on August 31, by the same Planning and Development Authority asking the owner to vacate the premises within three days.
“DATKEM applied for unsealing and regularisation of the building on August 2 and paid the mandatory fee of N500,000 to the Ogun state government. We have evidence of this payment.
“However, we were shocked and astonished that the Ogun state government ignored the ongoing legal process and went ahead to demolish the complex in the early hours of Sunday. We want to believe the State Attorney General’s advice was ignored on this matter.
“Our clients, as law-abiding citizens of Ogun state, will continue to seek redress in the courts. Even when our clients have suffered unimaginable and huge losses as a result of this illegal demolition, we will not relent in pursuing justice in the courts.”
It’s an illegal structure —Ogun govt
Reacting to the development, the State government in a statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olayiwola Abiodun said the structure violated the building codes of the state with numerous defects.
Abiodun said several efforts made by the government to halt further development on the site were ignored by the developers.
According to the statement, DATKEM Enterprises Limited applied to an office building, located along Ibadan Road, Ijebu Ode in 2009 with registration number CB/05/299/2009.
The statement reads: “The proposal was for five floors with an airspace of 3 metres at the right, 5 metres at the left, 5 metres at the rear and a setback of 32.5516 metres to the middle of Ijebu Ode/Ibadan road, Ijebu-Ode.
“The Zonal Town Planning Office observed during routine monitoring that the construction on site did not conform to the plan granted as there was a deviation from the airspaces and setback.
“In addition, the building had been modified and enlarged with an additional storey building at the back, thereby, becoming over-density.
“Given the above, the following actions were taken: “Contravention notice with Serial No. 0106983 was served on 24th May 2022. Stop Work Order with Serial No. 000623 was served on 24th May 2022.
“Another Stop Work Order with Serial No. 001065 was served on 22nd July 2022 when the first notice was ignored.
“Demolition Notice with Serial No. 0007549 was served on 11th October 2022. Notice to seal with Serial No. 000815 was served on 4th October 2022.
“This prompted the re-sealing of the site on August 1, 2023. However, the sealing did not stop the developer from further construction as work continued on the site.
“However, the developer wrote an appeal for unsealing, which was considered to evacuate the belongings on the premises. “Thereafter, a quit notice with Serial No. 0030750 was served on 31st August, 2023.
“Given the above, since the developer had remained recalcitrant, the Zonal Town Planning Office’s recommendation for the demolition of the office building was upheld.”