The Oyo State Government on Wednesday explained that the demolition notice to Music House, Fresh Fm 105.9, Ibadan, owned by popular musician, Yinka Ayefele, was not based on sentiments or witch-hunting, saying that contravention notices were served to different organizations in the state since June 14, 2017, including all radio stations in the state.
The government made this known in a statement by the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun.
The statement said the state government observed that property owners in the state are deviating from the originally approved building plans without seeking physical planning approvals from the Oyo State Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control.
Arulogun stated that the decision of the state government to demand for the building approved plan was not peculiar to Music House, Fresh Fm as several companies and institutions such as University of Ibadan, Kola Daisi University, University College Hospital, banks and radio stations in the state were asked to provide their planning approval.
He said the government recently demolished several banks ATM extension and some local government structures in the state.
The Government spokesman said that the letter to Fresh Fm was received by one Bamiduro Aderonke and a reminder letter dated August 18, 2017 was sent to the radio station to again request for its planning approval/permit in line with the Oyo State Physical and Development Control laws in which the radio station was expected to forward the approved building plan to the Bureau within seven days, noting that a copy of the letter was received by Adebisi Akinfunmi on August 21, 2017.
Arulogun said the submitted building approval was actually meant for an office complex and not a radio station, thereby 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, stating that the submitted approval from Music House deviated from the approved plan which effectively makes the approval null and void because deceitful information was given to the approving authority and also deviation from the approval granted both in construction and use.
He added that a physical inspection was carried out on June 25, 2018, to ascertain the extent of the deviation from the approval, where it was discovered that apart from the change in use of the building, spatial standards in terms of setback, airspace and parking spaces were found to be grossly inadequate.
The Commissioner 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, noting that the radio house deliberately ignored the letter as there was no response from till date.
Arulogun said the defiant posture of the radio station prompted the Bureau to serve a three-day Demolition Notice on August 13, 2018, which expired on August 15, 2018.
Arulogun said the government had also received petitions subsequent upon three fatal accidents that occurred around Music House in the last nine months.
The petitioners urged the government to look at the physical structure of the organization in relation to the dual carriageway, which lends itself easily to accidents.
He emphasised that the government will do the needful and follow due process in accordance with the laws of the land but will not dignify or elevate the tantrums of Music House, Fresh Fm.
But reacting to the move to demolish the building, which cost has been put at not less than N800 million, Ayefele described the state government’s claim on the demolition notice served against his building as a mere excuse to defend its hidden plan to pull down the property.
In a personal statement in Ibadan, Ayefele, who is the Chairman/CEO of Yinka Ayefele Limited, said the construction of Music House followed due process.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a purported press release by Mr. Arulogun …that the Music House complex contravenes planning laws and is responsible for three fatal accidents that occurred on the road in the last nine months on which the government had received petitions.
“We want to make it clear that Music House followed due process in the construction of the building and got relevant approvals from state departments and agencies associated with land and buildings.
“Saying that Music House complex is responsible for three accidents that occurred on the road in the last nine months is just an attempt by the commissioner to run away from his shadow. How can a reasonable person say that?
“It is not news that the governor himself said some politicians came to him to demolish the Music House complex because Ayefele is not in their camp and he also sang against them…”