Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Popular gospel artiste, Yinka Ayefele, has dragged Oyo State Government to court over the planned demolition of his building, Music House.
It houses his radio station, Fresh FM 105.9, on Lagos bye-pass, Challenge, Ibadan.
The three-day demolition notice issued by the government elapsed on Wednesday. The building was said to have contravened the state’s planning laws.
Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr. Toye Arulogun, said the decision to demolish the structure was based on contravention of planning laws, adding that the radio station was not the only one affected by the exercise, as many structures that contravened the planning laws were also served with notices of demolition.
He stated further that an office complex was approved for Ayefele, but it was turned to a radio station, and that there have been series of correspondences from government to the owners of the structure to regularise the building with appropriate organs of government, which the radio station has purportedly refused to comply with.
But, Ayefele approached an Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan with a view to stopping the government from demolishing the Music House.
In the suit, counsel to Ayefele, Mr. Olayinka Bolanle, filed an exparte motion before the court, praying for an order of the court to restrain the government from demolishing the property, pending the determination of the litigation.
The presiding judge, Justice Iyabo Yerima, who ordered the claimant to ensure service of the court process on the respondent, adjourned the case till Monday, August 20, 2018 for the hearing and ruling on the exparte motion.
Bolanle, however, stated that due process was followed in the construction of the structure, adding that relevant approvals were obtained from appropriate departments and agencies associated with land and housing in the state.
The counsel told the court that the building plan was duly approved by Ibadan South-East Local Planning Authority on June 6, 2008, and could not have violated the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development Law 2012.
In the suit with number I/836/18, Ayefele prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government by itself or its agents or servants from demolishing his property. He also asked the court to declare that demolition without a prior court order violates sections 36 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution.
The counsel further told the court that the demolition notice was issued without a hearing granted his client, Ayefele, who was said to have a subsisting approved building plan number IB/SE/TP/C/019 of June 6, 2008.