By Rotimi Agboluaje, Ibadan
The Oyo State Government on Monday reiterated that due process was followed in the partial demolition of Music House, saying that no court order restrained it from carrying out its statutory role in public interest.
The government restated that the Music house, which housed Fresh Fm radio contravened the planning laws of the state, which the organization was duly informed through several correspondences, echoing that the action of the government to demolish the building was not politically motivated, neither an act of vendetta nor against the radio station as it continues transmission despite the partial demolition.
The Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on Physical Planning and Development Control, who heads the Physical Planning Unit of the government, Tpl. Waheed Gbadamosi at a press parley held at the Film Theatre, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said that the government gave ample opportunity for Music House to regularize its null and void building plan but the management of the organization did not deem it fit to obey the laws of the land.
Tpl. Gbadamosi, who was at the parley with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Seun Abimbola, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun and the Special Adviser Communication and Strategy to Governor Ajimobi, Mr. Bolaji Tunji explained that during the joint inspection visit to the organization by the Oyo State Government officials and Music house officials, it was discovered that the building size measured 29.7m by 21.6m on ground as against the 11.925m by 10.20m in the survey plan/building plan submitted by Music House which means a gross overshooting of the allocated size approved with serious legitimacy implications.
He said that it was established during the visit that the building encroached into the sight distance of the Y junction along Lagelu Estate, stressing that a canteen, toilets, store and power house which were not in the plan submitted are attached to the wall fence.
The Special Adviser noted that the Mast erected and staircase on site were not included in the plan submitted, noting that the basement of the plan which was meant for car park has also been converted.
Gbadamosi said that a letter was sent to Music house on 29th of June, 2018 to submit a fresh building plan application that will reflect the existing structures on site and regularize the anomalies, noting that radio house deliberately ignored the letter as there was no response from their end till demolition notices were then sent on August 13, 2018 based on the earlier request for the submission of AS – Built Plan for approval
He reiterated that the government action 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 and he subsequently displayed the responses received from some radio stations during the press parley.
Gbadamosi said, “on May 19, 2017, letters demanding for planning approval were sent to various institutions including University College Hospital, Kola Daisi University, University of Ibadan and other institutions and organisatons. On June 14, 2017, request for approval was sent to Music House and 22 other radio stations in Oyo State.
“On August 18, 2017 reminder Letter was sent to Music House and the letter was received by Adebisi Akinkunmi. On August 25, 2017 we went a step further to send a letter to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) titled Operation of Radio Stations without Physical Planning permit/Aprroval in Oyo State. Few months later, precisely November 27, 2017, another letter was sent to NBC complaining about Physical Planning Law and Regulations by the Radio station owners, developers and operators.
“We got a response from NBC on December 4, 2017 and NBC said that the issue is outside its mandate. This is to show that the action of the state government is not to witch-hunt anyone as we even reported the radio stations to NBC. We also wrote to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on some banks 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.
“Music house submitted a building plan on June 14, 2018 which necessitated the joint inspection visit we carried out on June 25, 2018. It was discovered that it was meant to be an office complex and not a radio station among some other infractions including a building size measured 29.7 metres by 21.6 metres on ground as against the 11.925metres by 10.20metres in the survey plan/building plan submitted by Music House,” Tpl. Gbadamosi said.
He said that the building plan from Music House deviated from the approved plan which made 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.