An Ogun State High Court sitting in Ijebu-Ode, on Monday, granted an order asking the State government to maintain status quo and stay off the property belonging to Olufunke Daniel, the wife of former Governor Gbenga Daniel.
Recall that agents of the state government in the early hours of Sunday, destroyed some parts of the five-storey building located along Folagbade road, in Ijebu Ode.
However, the court asked government to stay off the property pending the determination of the substantiative matter filed before it.
The case with suit No: HCJ212/2023 was filed by DAKTEMS Enterprises Limited as plaintiff and joined the Governor of Ogun State, Attorney General of Ogun State, Ogun State Planning & Development Permit Authority and Urban Development as well as Ogun State Commissioner for Physical Planning, as defendants
It prayed the court for “an exparte order restraining the defendants/respondents and their agents, allies, proxies, assigns, cronies, servants and any other person(s), however described, either claiming through them or acting on their behalf, in whatsoever manner, upon their authority/instruction, from demolishing the property known, being or lying at No. 62, ljebu-Ode/lbadan Road, ljebu Ode, Iiebu-Ode Local Government Area, Ogun State”, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice herein filed.
“An order of the Court mandating and/or otherwise directing parties to maintain status quo, i.e. the position of things, as it were, as at the time of filing, hearing and determination of this application.”
Justice N. O. Durojaiye, in his ruling, therefore, directed that all parties in the case maintain Status quo on the property as at today the 11″ of September, 2023.
“The applicant shall file affidavit of Status quo, showing the state of the disputed property as at today within 72 hours from today.
“The Originating processes and all other processes shall be served on the Respondents within 24 hours from today.
The motion for Interlocutory Injunction is adjourned for hearing on 27″ September, 2023,” Durojaiye declared.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State government has clarified that there was no political motive behind the Sunday demolition of the five-storey DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu Ode.
The Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Engr. Abimbola Abiodun, who made the clarification while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, the State capital, said the rumoured political rift between the former Governor Gbenga Daniel and the incumbent, Dapo Abiodun, has nothing to do with the demolition of the plaza.
Engr. Abiodun explained that the plaza said to be owned by Olufunke Daniel, wife of the Senator representing Ogun East, was an illegal structure without an approved plan.
He said, “there is no political undertone in the whole process. As of May last year, a ‘Stop Work Order’ was served on the developer. On October 4th, when another Stop Work Order was served there was no political activities. By October 11th, seven days later a demolition order was served.
“The demolition order ought to have been carried out within 21 days, but we didn’t pull the structure down. We carried out the demolition after the developer ignored and frustrated all government efforts to salvage the situation.
Abiodun added that the plaza didn’t only contravened the state’s Physical Planning laws, the structure also violated the building codes of the state with numerous defects.
According to him, several efforts made by the state government to halt further development on site were ignored by the developers.
He explained that DATKEM Enterprises Limited applied to construct an office complex located along Ibadan Road, Ijebu Ode, in 2009 with registration number CB/05/299/2009.
“The proposal was for five floors with an airspace of three metres at the right, five metres at the left, and five metres 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 to the plan granted as there was a deviation from the airspace and setbacks”
Abiodun added that 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 May 24, 2022. The Stop Work Order with Serial No. 000623 was served on May 24, 2022.
“Another Stop Work Order with Serial No. 001065 was served on July 22, 2022, when the first notice was ignored.
“Demolition Notice with Serial No. 0007549 was served on October 11, 2022, and Notice to Seal with Serial No. 000815 was served on October 4, 2022.”
He emphasized that despite the numerous notices, the developer was adamant and continued with the construction work, saying, “This prompted the re-sealing of the site on August 1, 2023. However, the sealing did not stop the developer from further construction as work continued on the site.”