DATKEM Plaza was duly approved by Ogun State govt in 2009 - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

DATKEM Plaza was duly approved by Ogun State govt in 2009

..... it's not an illegal structure

By Ifedayo Adeniyi

The management of DATKEM plaza has debunked the claim by the Ogun State government that the building has no building approval, saying it was duly approved by the Ogun State Government in 2009.

The clarification was contained in a statement issued and made available to newsmen on Tuesday.

It would be recalled that the five-storey DATKEM plaza, owned by wife of the former governor, Olufunke Daniel, was demolished in the early hours of Sunday by agents of the state government.

The State government had earlier issued an explanation through Engr. Olayiwola Abiodun, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development explained government position why it had to demolish the plaza.

The statement read, “We read with utter dismay and bewilderment a post-vandalisation narrative attributed to one Engr. Olayiwola Abiodun, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development trying to justify the wanton destruction of the Datkem Plaza on Folagabde Street, Ijebu Ode in the dead of the night of Sunday 10th of September, 2023.

“The fact that the writer could not append his or her name nor sign off on the content, but only attributed to a Permanent Secretary is sufficient enough not to accord it any response, but for the unsuspecting members of the public who are keenly following the event, it has become important to make some explanations.

"In the said release, they admitted that ”DATKEM Enterprises Limited submitted application for an office building, located along Ibadan Road, Ijebu Ode in 2009 with registration number CB/05/299/2009″. We think this has paid a lie to the faceless submission that the building was illegal "without an approved plan, pointing out that building has approval number APN:CB/05/299/2009".

"Since it has been established that the building has an approval, we seek to know the specific “physical planning laws”  and “building codes” that were violated. There were no specific structural defects referenced in all the communication between the builders and the state government and we shall return to what were references shortly. We are equally aware that following the illegal vandalisation of the DATKEM Plaza, efforts are being made to doctor the books and records of the urban and physical planning department to look for something they could use to justify the illegal action. Hence, the statement that ”the Ogun State government will not fold its arm and allow and such occurrence.”

On parking space, DATKEM management noted, "those who have visited the premises will attest to the fact that the building is facing Folagabde Street, Ijebu Ode, while on both sides of the building there are undeveloped streets and at the back there is a vacant plot of land which even the government agents are aware is being negotiated to be purchased as additional parking spaces.

"The approved plan for the plaza was for six floors, contrary to the claims in the said release. It therefore suggests that the building volume and density was reduced from six floors as originally approved to five floors by the builder. And this is largely due to cash flow and the non economic viability of the location".

"The so-called airspaces will matter only on high fenced premises. As said earlier, the Plaza was bordered on both sides by undeveloped streets and there are no buildings immediately on both sides, there is also no building at the back of the building which leaves enough air space.

On the allegation that the building had been modified and enlarged with an additional storey building at the back thereby becoming over density, the management noted, "the so-called “additional building” is the generator house and the electrical panel room on top which does not in anyway obstruct the building plan".

“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.

"We think the people of Ogun State needs to be told what the demand for and the request for the payment of five hundred thousand (N500,000) on the 8th of August, 2023 for “Unsealing and Regularisation” which was duly paid and received into the government coffers is all about.

"Urgent demolition can only occur when there is a life threatening situation about structural defects in a building and not about muster points, air spaces and parking spaces in a building that is yet to be habited and not in use. This also does not answer nor justify the gestapo-like operations of vandalisation in the dead of the night. On the one hand, Town Planners do not work at night, and on the second, they don’t work on Sundays. Nigerians need to be convinced why such operations have to take place in the midnight by putting the lives of innocent citizens at risk.

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