*Lawyer writes State government as government insists the structure remains an illegal structure
THE DEMOLITION, DESTRUCTION AND/OR VANDALIZATION OF DATKEM PLAZA IN IJEBU ODE BELONGING TO OUR CLIENT, BY THE OGUN STATE GOVERNMENT, AN ACT OF EXECUTIVE RECKLESSNESS, LAWLESSNESS & IRRESPONSIBILITY
Agents of the Ogun State government in the early hours of Sunday, September 10, 2023 demolished DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu Ode belonging to a former First Lady of the State, Yeye Olufunke Daniel, the wife of former Governor, Gbenga Daniel.
In a statement by Mr. Adeyinka Kotoye, SAN of PAGE Law Office, the legal firm representing Yeye Daniel, “We were shocked and miffed that the Ogun State government ignored court papers served on its agents on Thursday, September 7 asking them to stop all actions on the building. 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.
“Meanwhile, Datkem applied for unsealing and regularization 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.
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.
*A.M. Kotoye, SAN, FCTI
DATKEM Plaza Is An Illegal Structure, Contravenes Ogun Physical Planning Laws
***DATKEM Plaza, Ijebu Ode is an illegal structure without an approved plan.
The structure also contravened the state’s physical planning laws.
The structure violated the building codes of the state with numerous defects.
Several efforts made by the state government to halt further development on site were ignored by the developers.
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.
Whatever government did was being proactive.
The owners of the structure should produce evidence of government approval in their possession.
A commercial building of that status must have 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 building lacked stage certification, which is usually issued at every stage of construction.
The owners were served the necessary notices, including abatement, contravention, stop work and demolition between May and October 2022, which were ignored.
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.
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. 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 in the premises. Thereafter, quit notice with Serial No. 0030750 was served on 31st August, 2023.
Since the developer remained recalcitrant, the Zonal Town Planning Office’s recommendation for the demolition of the office building was upheld.
The Ogun State Government is committed to ensuring the safety of its citizens. And on this, there is no going back.