The Ogun State Government, under the leadership of Governor Dapo Abiodun, has officially confirmed the demolition of DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu Ode. The plaza, which is owned by Olufunke Daniel, wife of former Governor and current Senator representing Ogun East, Gbenga Daniel, was taken down due to its status as an illegal structure without an approved plan.
Reports had previously indicated that the Ogun State Government had demolished the five-storey DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu-Ode, sparking speculation of political involvement and alleged vandalism by political thugs.
An insider referred to the incident as an act of vandalism carried out by thugs, allegedly with the support of the police.
However, in a statement issued on Sunday, the Project Manager and developer, Engr Olusegun Lawal, characterized it as a demolition conducted by government officials and revealed that the government had issued a three-day notice of demolition. Lawal cited the lack of sufficient parking space, inadequate muster points, and insufficient airspace as the reasons cited by the government.
The developer, however, firmly maintained that there were no structural defects in the building, asserting that all necessary government approvals had been obtained.
In a statement confirming the demolition, Engr. Olayiwola Abiodun, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, stated that the structure was deemed illegal as it violated the state’s physical planning laws. Abiodun also highlighted multiple defects in the building, citing the building codes of the state as being violated.
Efforts made by the state government to stop further development on the site had reportedly been ignored by the developers. The government had requested the structural engineer in charge of the building to provide information regarding the structural stability of the building, a request that had gone unanswered.
The Permanent Secretary pointed out the numerous building disasters that have occurred across the country, emphasizing that the Ogun State Government would not stand idly by and allow such incidents to happen. According to him, the partial dismantling of the defective building was a proactive measure.
Abiodun challenged the owners of the structure to provide evidence of government approval in their possession. He also emphasized the necessity of parking space for a commercial building of that stature, both for workers and visitors.
The statement revealed that DATKEM Enterprises Limited had submitted an application for an office building in 2009, with the proposal for five floors and specific airspace and setback measurements. However, it was observed that the construction on-site did not adhere to the approved plan, leading to deviations in airspaces and setbacks. Additionally, the building had been modified and expanded with an extra storey, resulting in over-density.
To address these violations, a series of actions were taken, including Contravention Notices, Stop Work Orders, and Demolition Notices, issued between May and October 2022. Unfortunately, these notices were allegedly ignored by the owners.
It was also reported that Olufunke Daniel personally visited the site to assess the extent of damage to the building.”