By Uche Amunike
The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has reacted to speculations that the partial demolition of a five-storey building in the state, known as DATKEM Plaza, belonging to the wife of a former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel, is not politically motivated.
The former Governor, Gbenga Daniel had described the demolition of his wife’s property as an act of executive restlessness, lawlessness and irresponsibility, in a press release issued by his lawyer, Adeyinka Kotote (SAN), Sunday, where he expressed shock that the Abiodun-led government ignored court papers served them on September 7, where they were ordered to stop all actions on the DATKEM building.
His words: ‘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.’
‘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.’
He asserted that he would seek redress in court because of the huge losses incurred from the demolition as he was sure that Governor Abiodun was not informed that of the legal process before the demolition.
Speaking, during an inspection of the reconstruction of the 8km Mowe/Ofada Road, in the Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area of the state, Monday, Governor Abiodun reacted by explaining that the demolition of the DATKEM building became necessary because the owners violated the law.
He asserted that it was important for citizens to obey state laws, no matter what status they attained in society because nobody is above the law.
His words: ‘The law is not a respecter of VVIPs or VIPs. Nobody is above the law. The law took its cause.’
‘The owners of DATKEM in their minds must have felt they were above the law because they were actually recalcitrant. It smirks of impunity if the Ministry of Physical Planning sends you a contravention order, sends you a sealing order and you continue with the construction in violation of the safety of all of us in Ogun state.’
He further explained that the owners of the partly demolished edifice boldly ignored warnings given by the state government., that it would be demolished, but that they pointedly ignored the warning, and rather began to grease palms do that their building would be saved.
Hear him: ‘They sent you a demolition order, but you still did not respond. You begin to sneak into the building at night. You begin to work there. You begin to attempt to grease palms so that they can overlook your contraventions. But, of course, the day of reckoning would always come.’
Governor Abiodun lauded the officials of the Ministry of Physical Planning, for not bowing to pressure from the owners of the DATKEM building.