Ogun State Government on Sunday said DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu Ode, owned by Mrs Olufunke Daniel, “is an illegal structure without an approved plan.”
The state government had on Sunday commenced demolition of a five-storey DATKEM plaza in Ijebu-Ode, owned by Mrs Daniel, wife of former governor Gbenga Daniel.
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.
But a source described the incident as an act of vandalism allegedly carried out by some political thugs.
“This is more of a case of vandalisation by thugs with a police cover,” the source said.
It was gathered that those behind the act used ‘hand machines’ to carry out the destruction as against an excavator usually deployed in a demolition task.
But the Project Manager & Developer, Engr Olusegun Lawal, in a statement, described it as a demolition.
He also confirmed that the government issued a three-day notice of demolition.
Lawal said, “not enough parking space, inadequate muster point and inadequate airspace” were the reasons adduced by the government.
The Developer, however, insisted that “There are no single structural defects on the building and all relevant and necessary government approvals have been obtained.”
Daniel, who represents Ogun East at the Senate, had personally visited the scene for an assessment of the damage on the building.
Apparently confirming the 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 noted further that despite all these notices, the developer was recalcitrant and continued with the construction work.