“A physical site inspection was carried out on 25th of June, 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”…GBADAMOSI
It appears that popular Ibadan gospel musician, Yinka Ayefele, may have resolved to embrace out of court settlement of the crisis generated by the partial demolition of his N800 million Music House by the Oyo State government.
Ayefele, the proprietor of Fresh FM, Ibadan held a peace meeting with Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Thursday over the demolition of the building that houses the radio station.
This came ahead of September 12, 2018 fixed by Justice Iyabo Yerima of an Oyo State High court for further hearing in the case instituted against the Oyo State government by the popular gospel musician, over the demolition of the building.
Ayefele, in the suit with number I/838/18, pending before the state High Court sitting in Ibadan, is praying the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining the state government and its agents from demolishing the building.
But the state government went ahead with the partial demolition of the Music House, even before the commencement of hearing in the case, and despite the fact that a notice of hearing was served on the the government.
Embattled Ayefele told a press conference that his wife was on her kneels for about five hours, begging Governor Ajimobi not to demolish the building a day before government official stormed the Music House with bulldozers.
The wheelchair – bound gospel musician said he would have followed his wife to beg governor Ajimobi, if not for the fact that he was on hospital bed on that Saturday, revealing that the demolition notice served on him by the state government landed him on hospital bed for five days.
He said that Ajimobi even gave his wife and two other persons who accompanied her to beg the governor, the sum of $1,000 each when they were leaving his house.
“Let me also bring to your notice that that my wife was with the governor till around 3.00 a.m on Saturday. She was able to meet the governor and he assured her that the building will not be demolished and as an assurance, when she was leaving , the governor gave her $1,000”, Ayefele explained.
The proprietor of Fresh FM said he was, therefore, surprised that the state government went ahead to demolish the building few hours later, saying “I am sad that all what I laboured for almost twenty years had been pulled down”.
Ayefele lamented further that: “I am so sad that all my sweet had been pulled down. I am handicapped, and I work round the clock to ensure that I did not beg. My vision was to put in place an edifice that will house radio and television stations. I paid beyond normal charges to get the approval for the building. I was shocked when they said I don’t have necessary papers”.
But the Oyo State government said it demolished the building as a result of Ayefele’s deviant posture.
Alhaji Waheed Gbadamosi, Director General of Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control, stated this at a press conference he jointly addressed with the Oyo State’s Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun; Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluseun Abimbola; and counsel to the state government, Chief Yomi Aliu (SAN).
Alhaji Gbadamosi explained that the state government partially demolished the Music House after all various means to get Ayefele to rectify identified contraventions in the approved building plan he submitted to the Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control.
He explained that only N17, 000 assessment fee was paid on the N800 million property, which was originally meant for an office complex and not a radio station, adding that deviating from the approved plan makes the approval null and void “because deceitful information were given to the approving authority and also deviation from the approval granted both in construction and use”.
Gbadamosi revealed further that: “A physical site inspection was carried out on 25th of June, 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.
“In view of the above, a letter was sent to the radio station on the 29th of June, 2018 to submit a fresh building plan application that will reflect the existing structure on site. The radio station deliberately ignored the letter as there was no response from their own end till date”.
The Oyo State government threatened that apart from the demolition of the building, the wheelchair – bound gospel musician risks being jailed for contravening town planning law.
Meanwhile, it appears that respite may have come the way of the embattled gospel musician, as a leading governorship aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Joseph Olasunkanmi Tegbe, on Thursday facilitated a peace meeting between Governor Ajimobi and Ayefele.
The two parties met for several hours to resolve the face – off that followed the partial demolition of Music House.
The proprietor of Fresh FM, who arrived the governor’s office in Agodi at 11.30 a.m in a black Toyota Sequoia Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) with registration number (Lagos) AAA700FE, did not leave the place until around 7.30 p.m.
The peace meeting coincided with a visit to Governor Ajimobi by prominent traditional rulers in the state, who came to pay homage to the governor for the just concluded Eid-el-Kabir festival.
The over 30 traditional rulers, including: the Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola; the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdulganiy Adekunle; the Iba of Kishi, Oba Moshood Aweda; the Onpetu of Ijeru, Oba Sunday Oyediran, among others, were led to the governor’s office by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111.
Sunday INDEPENDENT gathered that the presence of the monarchs and some top government officials were at the peace meeting helped to resolve the crisis.
A source informed that Oba Adeyemi interceded on behalf of the gospel musician, the foremost traditional ruler appealed to Governor Ajimobi to temper justice with mercy and allow a peaceful and amicable resolution of the matter.
The meeting, which ended around 7 p.m, was said to have proffered a political solution to the controversy surrounding the demolition of Ayefele’s Music House and the alleged contraventions.
Our Correspondent gathered that Governor Ajimobi, at the meeting, expressed his willingness to resolve the controversy, as he reportedly said that neither himself nor his government had any issue with either Ayefele or Fresh FM but with the structure housing the radio station.
The embattled wheelchair – bound gospel musician reportedly apologised to the governor at the peace meeting.
Ayefele was said to have expressed his regret for not coming personally to see the governor when the matter first broke out, saying that his efforts to meet Ajimobi before the partial demolition met brick walls.