Demolition Of Ayefele’s N800Million Music House Taken To Whole New Level Of ‘Insane’. Now What?
The Oyo state government on Sunday carried out its threat by demolishing the Music House, a building owned by a popular Juju musician, Yinka Ayefele, in the early hours of the day.
The building which is located along ChallengeToll Gate Express Way houses Ayefele’s radio station, Fresh FM, Ibadan.
The state government had marked the structurefor demolition for contravening the state’s planning laws (allegedly). But confirmed in grand optimism, Ayefele hadinsisted that the construction of the Music House followed due process and approached an Oyo state High Court on the condition that the government does not have any right to demolish his property.
Ayefele’s counsel, Mr Olayinka Bolanle, sought an order of the court restraining the state government from demolishing the property pending the determination of the suit.
Justice I. Yerima ordered the claimant to ensure service of the court process on the respondent and adjourned the case till Monday for the hearing of the exparte motion. But in a swift move, the State government on Sunday morning demolished the structure reportedly worth about N800,000.
Reacting to the incident, Ayefele shared a picture of the destroyed property on his Instagram page. He wrote, “Oyo state government did at last..My pains my sweat.So help me God.”
Meanwhile, the Housing Development Advocacy Network, an NGO, has also condemned in strong terms the Sunday dawn demolition of the Music House.
The HDAN described the demolition as “an economic waste.”
Briefing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the President of the group, Mr. Festus Adebayo, added that the demolition was a disregard for rule of law.
The Oyo State Government, on August 19, demolished the Music House, which housed Fresh FM, a radio station and music studios that belong to the artiste, despite a court injunction restraining government from executing the demolition.
“How can we grow our institutions if we do not respect the rule of law? We need strong institutions led by contented patriots working collaboratively with other institutions to move things forward.
“What has happened in Ibadan is not about Ayefele, but it is about right or wrong, it is also about laws and processes.
“When such act occurred and there are no protest and repercussion on the governor, it emboldens, potentates at all level of the government. This induces fears and uncertainty in the socio-economic development process,” the group said.
Adebayo argued that no reasonable investor will invest in an environment where the government cannot obey the rule of law.
He added that it was unfortunate that those who cannot build houses for their citizens were demolishing the houses built by the citizens.
“The Oyo Government’s action in Ibadan reminded us of how former FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, demolished 500 houses in FCT in Abuja (Minanuel Estate) located along the Airport road Abuja.
“Nigeria cannot continue with this kind of economic waste in the country where the housing deficit is above 18 million and where the unemployment is increasing on a daily basis,” Adebayo said.
He asked: “Has Yinka Ayefele violated the building code? Did he just violate the building code? If yes, is it a newly enacted building code or pre-existing building code of Oyo State?
“Why did the government not obey the court order refraining it from demolishing the building?
“In a normal society, the government cannot arbitrarily contravene court order and that is where our fear lies.”
Adebayo called on the government of Oyo State to learn how to obey the rule of law if it wants to attract investment to the state.
Additional reports from NAN