Controversy trails demolition of Daniel’s wife plaza in Ijebu-Ode

Ogunsakin Mustapha
6 Min Read

Ogun State government at the weekend ordered partial demolition of DATKEM Plaza situate at Folagbade Road, Ijebu-Ode, belonging to Chief Mrs Olufunke Daniel, wife of former governor of the state, and an incumbent Senator,wA Gbenga Daniel, sparkling a round of controversy between the former governor and the incumbent, Prince Dapo Abiodun.

The state government has however justified the demolition, saying that the construction of the building contravened building regulations of the state.

According to a statement from the former governor, the building a five storey structure “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 building’s project manager, Engr Olusegun Lawal further described the building thus: “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 Air conditioners 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. Building Supervision: Engr. A Lawal & Engr Ibraheem Shonde and others, all qualified and certified engineers. There are no structural or quality issues.

However, the state government maintained that DATKEM Plaza is an illegal structure, that contravenes Ogun Physical Planning Laws, and without an approved plan.

The government, in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr. Olayiwola 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 incidences of building disasters across the country, adding that the Ogun State Government will not fold its arm and allow and 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.

Engr. Abiodun challenged the owners of the structure to produce evidence of government approval in their possession. He said that 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 that 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 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.

“This prompted the re-sealing of the site on 1st August, 2023. But the sealing did not stop the developer from further construction as work continued on the site.

“However, the developer wrote an appeal for unsealing, which was considered so as to evacuate the belongings in the premises. Thereafter, quit notice with Serial No. 0030750 was served on 31st August, 2023.

“In view of the above, since the developer had remained recalcitrant, the Zonal Town Planning Office’s recommendation for the demolition of the office building was upheld,” the statement added.

The state government reiterated its avowed commitment to ensure the safety of its citizens, adding that any defective buildings in any part of the state will be demolished to safeguard the lives of the people.

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