THE State Government and the wife of a former governor of the state, Olufunke Daniel have traded words over the demolition of DATKEM Plaza in the Ijebu Ode area of the state.
Although the state government said the five-storey building, was illegally situated and that it contravened the state’s physical planning laws, the former governor’s wife disagreed, and described the partial demolition by the government as “executive recklessness and irresponsibility”.
It was reported that the five-storey building was partially demolished in the early hours of Sunday.
Clips and pictures showing destruction on the structure were circulated across social media platforms in the state, generating outrage and concerns among the residents and the political class.
In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olayiwola Abiodun, the state government said the structure violated the building codes of the state with numerous defects.
He said the developers ignored several efforts made by the state government to halt further development on site.
The permanent secretary 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.
According to the permanent secretary, what the government did in partially pulling down the defective building was to be proactive.
He challenged the owners of the structure to produce evidence of government approval in their possession.
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.
Meanwhile, the former First Lady through her lawyer slammed Governor Dapo Abiodun over what she called ‘illegality,’ saying she suffered “unimaginable and huge losses” due to the demolition.
In a statement signed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Adeyinka Kotoye, of PAGE Law Office, the legal firm said the government ignored court papers “served on its agents on Thursday, September 7 asking them to stop all actions on the building”.