Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has clashed with Olufunke Daniel, wife of the state’s former governor Gbenga Daniel, over the demolition of her property called DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu Ode.
The government said it took proactive measures and that the plaza had no approved plan and was contravening the state’s physical planning laws.
In a Sunday statement signed by the permanent secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olayiwola Abiodun, the government said the structure violated the building codes of the state with numerous defects.
He said several efforts made by the state government to halt further development on site were ignored by the developers.
He said government officials requested the structural engineer in charge of the building to assess its structural equilibrium, but the request was ignored.
However, a lawyer from the former governor’s wife, Adeyinka Kotoye (SAN), said the state government on Sunday morning ignored court papers served on them on September 7, 2023, not to go ahead with the vandalisation and demolition of DATKEM Plaza belonging to Mrs Daniel.
Kotoye disclosed in a Sunday statement that the vandalisation was carried out by some suspected political thugs acting with the protection of the police from 3 am to about 5:30 am Sunday morning.
But the permanent secretary said that the building lacked stage certification, which is usually issued at every stage of construction.
He also said that owners were served the necessary notices, including abatement, contravention, stop work, and demolition, between May and October 2022, which were ignored.
He explained that DATKEM Enterprises Limited applied to construct an office complex located along Ibadan Road, Ijebu Ode, in 2009 with registration number CB/05/299/2009.
“The proposal was for five (5) floors with an airspace of three metres at the right, five metres at the left, and five 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 airspace and setbacks.
“In addition, the building had been modified and enlarged with an additional-storey building at the back, thereby becoming over-density.
“In view of the above, the following actions were taken:
“Contravention Notice with Serial No. 0106983 was served on May 24, 2022. The Stop Work Order with Serial No. 000623 was served on May 24, 2022.
“Another Stop Work Order with Serial No. 001065 was served on July 22, 2022, when the first notice was ignored.
“Demolition Notice with Serial No. 0007549 was served on October 11, 2022, and Notice to Seal with Serial No. 000815 was served on October 4, 2022,” he said.
The statement noted further that despite all these notices, the developer was recalcitrant and continued with the construction work.
“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 so as to evacuate the belongings on the premises. Thereafter, a quit notice with Serial No. 0030750 was served on August 31, 2023.
“In view of the above, since the developer had remained recalcitrant, the Zonal Town Planning Office’s recommendation for the demolition of the office building was upheld,” the statement added.
Senator Daniel, according to his lawyer, declared that as a law-abiding citizen, he would continue to seek redress in court until justice was served.
He said, “We want to believe that Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, was not informed of this act of illegality, but if he was informed and decided to use the instrument of the state against our clients, it is nothing but executive recklessness, but we shall continue to fight for justice.”
Project manager and developer, Olusegun Lawal, said in a statement that the construction of the building started in 2009 with full approval from the relevant authorities.
Lawal revealed that the excuses given by the government are not tenable, insisting there was zero contravention as far as the building of the project was concerned.
It was also gathered that a notice of demolition of the five-storey building was given to the property owners three days ago, leaving them with very little time to respond or challenge the decision.