Ogun state Governor, Dapo Abiodun has demolished the DATKEM Plaza, owned by Olufunke Daniel, wife of former governor Gbenga Daniel and incumbent senator representing Ogun East amidst the ongoing feud between the duo
The Project Manager and Developer for the building, Olusegun Lawal made this known in a statement issued on Sunday.
He disclosed that the demolition of the five-storey building located at Folagbade Street, Ijebu-Ode, was carried out at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday.
Reacting in a statement on Sunday, Gov Abiodun said DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu Ode, owned by Mrs Olufunke Daniel, “is an illegal structure without an approved plan.”
Governor Dapo Abiodun and Senator Daniel belong to the same party – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) but the duo have been at loggerheads after the 2023 governorship election in the state.
The former governor and Mr Abiodun have political differences. Despite both standing for election this year as APC candidates, the governor accused his predecessor of working against his reelection.
They are both from the Ogun East Senatorial District. Mr Daniel won his own senatorial election but Mr Abiodun won in only two of the district’s nine local government areas in the governorship election.
Mr Abiodun’s main opponent in that election, Ladi Adebutu of the PDP, is from the same town, Iperu Remo, as the governor
DAILY GIST gathered that the construction of the building started in 2009 and it was scheduled for inauguration at the end of September 2023. The building reportedly cost about N1 billion.
Mr Lawal said that the building, which had been under construction since 2009, had the full approval from the state government and was scheduled for commissioning by the end of September before the demolition, adding that the building had no structural or quality issues.
He revealed that the third floor of the now demolished building was to house the Ogun East Senatorial Office.
Speaking on the reasons for demolition, the government, in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr. Olayiwola Abiodun, said the structure “is illegal as it contravened the state’s physical planning laws.”
Abiodun 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 avail the state of the structural equilibrium of the building, a request that was ignored.
The statement recalled the various incidents of building disasters across the country, adding that the Ogun State Government will not fold its arm and allow such occurrence.
It noted that many of 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.
Abiodun challenged the owners of the structure 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. 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 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 an 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 added further that despite all these notices, the developer was recalcitrant and continued with the construction work.
The demolition comes as rumours proliferate about a raging rift between the incumbent governor and former governor Daniel now senator for Ogun East.
It was unclear when the rift began, as Mr Daniel backed Mr Abiodun for governor in 2019. But as 2023 election drew closer, there were suggestions that Mr Daniel did not openly back Mr Abiodun’s reelection, but instead worked quietly to support Ladi Adebutu, the candidate of opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Speaking on the development, Mr Lawal said the demolition was “very shocking, very cruel and a heinous act committed by someone who is supposed to be saving our lives and properties; by somebody who is supposed to protect the rule of law in this state.”
He added that, as the developer of the building, everything that was required from state government officials was done, therefore, the demolition was shocking.
“We’ve done what was needful from our side regarding this project. They complained of contravention and we made amendment to the approval, submitted since last year. This is a building that’s almost two years now. Every queries raised, we answered them.
“When they partially sealed us, they asked us to pay unsealing fee of half a million (N500,000) which I paid. They received it and the next thing they did was to give us a letter in which they said within 24 hours, the amendment submitted doesn’t confirm with what we’re building. I said can we perform magic in this life?”
The former governor who represents Ogun East at the Senate personally visited the scene on Sunday for an assessment of the damage on the building.
Videos and pictures of the demolished building have been greeted with outrage on social media.
WATCH VIDEO BELOW:
TRENDING VIDEO: Gov. Abiodun Demolishes Gbenga Daniel’s Plaza Of N1Billion In Ogun pic.twitter.com/Sprpnj2CN6
— DAILY GIST (@NaijamediaNews) September 10, 2023