Demolition: Dapo Abiodun exhibited ‘executive recklessness’ – Gbenga Daniel’s wife

Demolition: Dapo Abiodun exhibited ‘executive recklessness’ - Gbenga Daniel’s wife

Olufunke Daniel, the wife of former Ogun Governor Gbenga Daniel, has tackled the state government for demolishing her five-storey DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu-Ode, describing the act as executive recklessness.

Mrs Daniel stated this in a release by her lawyer, Adeyinka Kotote (SAN) after the Ogun government demolished the plaza in the early hours of Sunday.

The lawyer expressed shock that the state government ignored a court order served on its agents on September 7, asking them to stop all actions on the building.

He said he believed the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, was unaware of the “illegality.” The lawyer said his client would seek redress in court.

“But if he was informed and still decided to use the instrument of the state against our clients, it is nothing but executive recklessness. But we will continue to fight for justice and ensure that our clients get justice,” he added.

He said operatives of the state Planning and Development Authority entered the premises on August 1 without prior notice and issued a quit notice on August 31, asking that the premises be vacated within three days.

“However, 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,” Mr Kotoke said.

In a reaction, the Ogun government said DATKEM Plaza was an Illegal structure contravening Ogun physical planning laws.

In a statement signed by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olayiwola Abiodun, the state government said the structure violated the state’s building codes with numerous defects.

Mr Abiodun explained that the developers ignored several efforts made by the state government to halt further development on the site.

He said government officials requested the structural engineer in charge of the building to provide the state with the structural equilibrium of the building, which was ignored.

According to the permanent secretary, what the government did in partially pulling down the defective building was to be proactive.

Mr Abiodun challenged the structure owners to produce evidence of government approval in their possession.

He said for a commercial building of that status, there must be parking space to accommodate vehicular traffic within and outside the facility for workers and visitors.

“Owners were served the necessary notices, including abatement, contravention, stop work and demolition between May and October 2022, which were ignored.

“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, a contravention notice with Serial No. 0106983 was served on May 24, 2022. 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,” he said.

The statement also indicated that despite all these notices, the developer was recalcitrant and continued the construction work.

“This prompted the re-sealing of the site on August 1, 2023. But, 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 fact that the developer had remained recalcitrant, the Zonal Town Planning Office’s recommendation for the demolition of the office building was upheld,” he added.

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