The Ogun State government has demolished a five-storey building, DATKEM Plaza, owned by former governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel, and his wife, Olufunke Daniel.

The plaza, which is located at Folagbade Street, Ijebu Ode, was demolished in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Project Manager and Developer of the project, Olusegun Lawal, said the state government gave the owner of the property only a three day notice.

According to Lawal, the structure has full approval, adding that construction started in 2009 and is scheduled for commissioning at the end of this month.

The project manager informed that about 80 Brand new Split Air Conditioners have just been installed in the building, 150kVA generator set and transformer in place with Fire Fighting System installed as well.

Lawal, who gave the building cost to be around N1 billion, said that the state government listed inadequate parking space, muster point and airspace as the reasons for the demolition.

“Reasons adduced by the Government are: Not enough parking space (front of Building is Folagbade str. Sided by two (2) undeveloped streets which is being prepared by the Developers to be tarred to support parking while the empty piece of land at the back is being negotiated for lease to complement car parking.

“Inadequate Muster Point: Muster point is any space outside the building where people can gather in case of fire or emergency. There is ample space around the building that can be used as Muster Point.

“Inadequate Airspace. This is a new one. But there is enough airspace as there is no single adjoining building around the 4 sides of the building.

“There is also no concrete fence but only metal grills to ensure proper airflow. It must be noted that there are other buildings with the vicinity that does not even come close in terms of compliance on safety matters,” Lawal said in a statement.

“There is no single structural defect on the building and all relevant and necessary government approvals were obtained,” Lawal added.

But reacting, the state government said DATKEM Plaza is an illegal structure without an approved plan.

The structure, the state government added, also contravened the state’s physical planning laws.

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.

“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,” Abiodun said in a statement.

The Permanent Secretary 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,” he added.

Daniel and the state governor have reportedly been bickering over alleged betrayal of trust.

Daniel, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly, was accused of working against the re-election of Governor Dapo Abiodun.

Daniel was said to have picked the APC ticket for Ogun East senatorial district through the support of the governor, with the intention that he would support him (Abiodun) in return.

The former governor won comfortably in the senatorial district, but Abiodun did not do well in the area, but won his re-election with slim margin, after polling 276,298 votes in the March 18 governorship election in the state.