• Demolition notice landed me in hospital – Ayefele
Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State Government, yesterday, reiterated that due process was followed in the demolition of Ayefele’s Music House, explaining that no court order restrained it from carrying out its statutory role in public interest.
The government insisted that the Music House, which housed Fresh FM radio contravened the planning laws of the state, Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Physical Planning and Development Control, Waheed Gbadamosi, at a press parley said the government gave ample opportunity for the Music House to regularise its documents through several correspondences.
Gbadamosi, who was at the parley with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Seun Abimbola, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun and Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy to the governor, Bolaji Tunji, explained that the Music House grossly over shot its size against government’s approval.
He said during the joint inspection of the Oyo State government officials and Music House officials, it was discovered that the building size measured 29.7m by 21.6m on ground was against the 11.925m by 10.20m in the survey plan/ building plan submitted by house.
The commissioner added that it was also established that the building encroached into the sight distance of the Y junction along Lagelu Estate, stressing that a canteen, toilets, store and power house which were not in the plan submitted were attached to the wall fence.
The special adviser noted that the mast erected and staircase on site were not included in the plan submitted, noting that the basement of the plan which was meant for car park has also been converted.
Gbadamosi said a letter was sent to Music House on June 29, 2018 to submit a fresh building plan application that will reflect the existing structures on site and regularise the anomalies was ignored by the management of the Music House till demolition notices were sent on August 13, 2018.
He insisted that the government’s action was not based on sentiments or witch-hunting.
“On May 19, 2017, letters demanding planning approval were sent to various institutions, including University College Hospital, Kola Daisi University, University of Ibadan and other institutions and organisations. On June 14, 2017, request for approval was sent to Music House and 22 other radio stations in Oyo State.
“On August 18, 2017, a reminder letter was sent to Music House and the letter was received by Adebisi Akinkunmi. On August 25, 2017, we went a step further to send a letter to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), entitled: ‘Operation of Radio Stations without Physical Planning permit/Approval in Oyo State’. Few months later, precisely November 27, 2017, another letter was sent to NBC complaining about Physical Planning Law and Regulations by the radio station owners, developers and operators.
“We got a response from NBC on December 4, 2017, saying the issue is outside its mandate. This is to show the action of the state government is not to witch-hunt anyone as we even reported the radio stations to NBC. We also wrote to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on some banks contravening the Oyo State Physical Planning and Development Control laws, sections 30, 31 and 32 of the Oyo State Physical Planning and Urban Development Law of 2012.
“Music House submitted a building plan on June 14, 2018 which necessitated the joint inspection visit we carried out on June 25, 2018. It was discovered that it was meant to be an office complex and not a radio station among some other infractions, including a building size measured 29.7 metres by 21.6 metres on ground as against the 11.925 metres by 10.20 metres in the survey plan/ building plan submitted by Music House,” Gbadamosi said.
Meanwhile, the state government has cautioned the Music House management not to embark on renovation of its house until necessary papers were submitted, “You cannot go on to say you want to rectify without bringing your papers; bringing the papers to formalise it, will empower you and will give you legal backing that you have an approval. So, the renovation, or repair works cannot be undertaken.
Ayefele, yesterday said he was hospitalised for five days when he received a notice of demolition of his N800 million Music House, which houses his radio station, Fresh FM 105.9.
Besides, he said his wife, was in the house of Governor Ajimobi from 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, till 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 19, begging the governor on her knees, to use his office to stop the demolition, he said he would have gone with his wife to the governor’s house, but he was on hospital bed.
He disclosed this as Justice Iyabo Yerima of an Oyo State High Court adjourned the case he filed to stop the demolition, as well as another process filed yesterday morning by his counsel, Otunba Olayinka Bolanle, on the partial demolition of the Music House, to September 12, 2018 for hearing.
Before the adjournment, the lead counsel to Oyo State Government and Attorney General of the state, Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN), who said he appeared before the court in protest because the court is presently on vacation, had told the court that his clients were not aware of the demolition, until they were told about it on Sunday morning. He asked for adjournment so that he could reply to to the processes filed by Ayefele’s counsel.
Addressing the press conference, Ayefele, who said he sobbed when the partial demolition was being carried out, also betrayed emotions during the conference, saying: “Immediately, I got this demolition notice last Monday, August 13, 2018, I started making moves on how we can overcome it. All I can see is the demolition taking place, after we have gone to court.”