Tensions have risen between the Ogun State Government and Olufunke Daniel, the wife of a former state governor, concerning the demolition of DATKEM Plaza in the Ijebu Ode area of the state.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The state government contends that the five-storey building was illegally positioned and violated the state’s physical planning laws. In response, the former governor’s wife criticized the government’s partial demolition as “executive recklessness and irresponsibility.”
The partial demolition of the building occurred in the early hours of Sunday, causing a stir on social media platforms in the state and raising concerns among residents and the political class.
The state government, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olayiwola Abiodun, asserted that the structure had numerous defects and violated the state’s building codes. According to the government, attempts to halt further development on the site were ignored by the developers, including a request for the structural engineer’s assessment of the building’s stability, which was also disregarded.
The government defended its decision to partially dismantle the defective structure, emphasizing the need for evidence of government approval in the possession of the owners and the absence of stage certification, which should be issued at every construction stage.
The owners had reportedly received various notices, including abatement, contravention, stop-work, and demolition, between May and October 2022, which they allegedly ignored.
In response, the former First Lady, represented by her legal counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Adeyinka Kotoye, accused Governor Dapo Abiodun of illegality and significant financial losses resulting from the demolition. The legal firm claimed that court papers served on the government’s agents to halt all actions on the building were disregarded.
The firm also highlighted the sequence of events, stating that the Ogun State Planning and Development Authority initially scaled the building on August 1 without prior notice, and a quit notice was served only on August 31. The firm contended that DATKEM had applied for unsealing and regularization of the building on August 2, with evidence of the mandatory fee payment to the state government.
Despite significant losses suffered by their clients due to the demolition, the legal firm pledged to continue seeking justice through legal channels, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the rule of law in resolving the dispute.