Frontline journalist and community leader, Chief Oladimeji Abitogun, has raised the alarm over an alleged attempt by the Ondo State Government to render him homeless, following a one-month notice served him to quit a building owned by a former deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo.
Abitogun, publisher of an online news service, sharpedgenews.com, is a tenant of eight years in Oluboyo’s three-bedroom flat of four apartments in Oba-Ile, Akure, the Ondo State capital.
In an eviction notice dated October 19, 2023, and signed by the director of quality control in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ojo Ibidapo, a copy of which was obtained by First News, the ministry stated that the former deputy governor asked it to inspect the house which was “going through structural defects due to plumbing works failure”.
The ministry’s official added, “In view of incessant building collapse in recent times, I am directed to inform you that you should vacate the house/premises within one month on the date on this letter due to noticeable signs of stress/performance defects and for proper quality control test to be carried out on the House to avert any looming danger”.
But protesting, Abitogun said he smelt a rat in “the forceful and untimely eviction notice by the ministry, as I have nowhere to relocate to within one month, which is contrary to my deed of agreement with my landlord, the former deputy governor”.
Abitogun, who is Odopetu of Aiyede-Ogbese, a high chief in the neighbouring community, complained, “The former deputy governor whom I have been a tenant to in the last eight years, has a penchant for arbitrary increment in house rent, and for God’s sake, his house that I currently occupy is solid-rock firm, showing no sign of structural defect in any way.
“I think my landlord instigated the state government to forcefully evict me because he increased my annual house rent from N250,000 to N300,000 a year ago, which I duly paid for; and now wants to increase it to N350,000.
“I feel really oppressed as a citizen, as I have nowhere to go within one month and my rent has not expired; thus implying that I and my family members will be rendered homeless by a state government elected to fend for us ,” Abitogun lamented.