DATKEM Plaza: Ogun govt agents vandalise N1bn former Governor’s property in Ijebu-Ode 

DATKEM Plaza: Ogun govt agents vandalise N1bn former Governor's property in Ijebu-Ode 

Some Persons believed to be officials of the Ogun State Government, on Sunday morning, vandalised a five-storey building, DATKEM Plaza, belonging to the wife of former governor of Ogun State, Chief (Mrs) Olufunke Daniel.

According to Tribuneonline, the building said to be located on Folagbade Road in Ijebu-Ode, is billed for commissioning by the end of this month.

It was gathered that officials of the State Urban and Regional Planning and Development had served a demolition notice on the structure. 

The building is said to have gulped a whopping sum of N1 billion.

Reacting to the vandalisation of the property, P.A.G.E Law firm representing Yeye Olufunke Daniel, said that the owner of the property would seek redress at the court for justice over the action of the agents of the State Government.

The law firm in a statement signed by Mr. Yinka Kotoye, SAN, wondered why officials of the Ogun State Planning and Development Authority, ignored court papers served on it, last Thursday, asking for stop action on the building.

“We are shocked and miffed that the State Government ignored court papers served on its agents on Thursday 7th September, asking them to stop all actions on the building.

“This matter began when the Ogun State Planning and Development Authority scaled the building on August 1 without 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.

“Meanwhile, 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 that 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.

“I want to believe that the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, was not informed of this illegality. But if he was informed and still decided to use the instruments 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, Kotoye said.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Government has confirmed to be the brain behind the demolition exercise, saying that the Plaza is an illegal structure.

The state government in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr. Olayiwola Abiodun, said the structure contravened the Ogun physical planning laws.

He said further that the structure had no approved plan, adding that the said structure violated the building codes of the state with numerous defects.

Abiodun 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 avail the state of the structural equilibrium of the building, a request that was ignored.

The statement recalled the various incidences of building disasters across the country, adding that the Ogun State Government will not fold its arms and allow such occurrence.

It noted that many such disasters, such as fire outbreaks at Ikorodu, led to the loss of precious lives.

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

He, therefore, challenged the owners of the structure to produce evidence of government approval in their possession.

He said that 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. The provision of the law is for 45 to 50 per cent of available land for construction as a buildable area.

The permanent secretary added that the building lacked stage certification, which is usually issued at every stage of construction.

He said that owners were served the necessary notices, including abatement, contravention, stop work and demolition between May and October 2022, which were ignored.

According to the statement, DATKEM Enterprises Limited submitted application for an office building, located along Ibadan Road, Ijebu Ode in 2009 with registration number CB/05/299/2009.

“The proposal was for five (5) floors with airspace of 3 metres at the right, 5m at the left, 5metres 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 with 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.

“In view of 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.’

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 1st August, 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 in the premises. Thereafter, quit notice with Serial No. 0030750 was served on 31st August, 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.

The state government reiterated its avowed commitment to ensure the safety of its citizens, adding that any defective buildings in any part of the state will be demolished to safeguard the lives of the people.