There was outrage on Sunday as suspected agents of the Ogun State Government demolished a five-storey building in Ijebu-Ode, DATKEM Plaza, owned by Yeye Olufunke Daniel, the wife of former Governor and Senator representing Ogun East, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
The demolition, which started about 3:00am Sunday, 10 September, 2023, is still ongoing at Folagbade Street, Ijebu-Ode as of the time of filing this report.
Sources disclosed that the demolition squad was accompanied by scores of armed policemen who cordoned off the area to prevent resistance from residents and sympathizers, many of whom described the “midnight destruction” as politically motivated.
According to some of the residents, the incident marked a new twist in the rumoured political feud between Governor Dapo Abiodun and Senator Daniel.
It was learnt that the iconic structure, which is scheduled for commissioning at the end of this month of September, is to house the Ogun East Senatorial Office of the lawmaker on the third floor of the building.
No bulldozer was sighted at the scene of demolition but the wrecking was said to have been carried out by several hand-held equipment.
The incident followed three days notice of demolition by the state government, which claimed that the building lacked adequate parking space, muster point and airspace.
However, officials of the state government had yet to react to the shocking demolition.
When contacted, town planners at the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development said they do not carry out official operations in the night, thus further raising red flags as to the identities of the demolition team.
But speaking on the matter, the Project Manager and Developer, Engr. Olusegun Lawal, said there were no single structural defects on the building, adding that all relevant and necessary government approvals have been obtained for the project.
He said, “The five-storey DATKEM Plaza owned by Her Exc Yeye Olufunke Daniel is an iconic, solid structure with full approval whose construction started in 2009 and scheduled for commissioning at the end of this month of September.”
“The ground floor and mezzanine is a banking hall fully fitted with bank trap doors, and CHUBB strong room. Kone elevator installed by Kresta Laurel Ltd.
About 80 brand new split airconditioners just completely installed by Holomicool Nig Ltd.”
“150KVA generator set and transformer in place with fire fighting system installed by Flory Ltd. External cladding being completed by Vertex Nig Ltd.”
On the reasons adduced by the government regarding inadequate parking space, Lawal explained that “front of building is Folagbade Street, sided by two undeveloped streets which (are) being prepared by the developers to be tarred to support parking while the empty piece of land at the back is being negotiated for lease to complement car parking.”
The project manager further noted that there is ample space around the building that can be used as muster point.
He also pointed out that there is enough airspace as there is no single adjoining building around the four sides of the building.
“There is also no concrete fence but only metal grills to ensure proper airflow.
It must be noted that there are other buildings within the vicinity that does not even come close in terms of compliance on safety matters. All these information are known by the relevant personnel of government in ongoing discussions,” Lawal submitted.