OGUN: DATKEM and lessons from the lawlessness of Daniel’s
Going by the intensity of mixed reactions that trailed the demolition of DATKEM Plaza in Ijebu-ode, and the contradictory narratives that followed from the Project Manager in charge of the Plaza, as well as the former first family in Ogun State, who are the owner of the property; every critical mind will consider it paramount to probe further and carefully dissect the situation to ascertain what truly played out without emotion and sentiment.
It is against this backdrop that further interrogation of the scenario was carried out with damning revelation, Yes, damning!
Thorough investigation revealed that DATKEM is not in any way recognized by the law as a business entity and as envisaged by the Company and Allied Matters Act, 2020, which stipulates that every business establishment must register with the Corporate Affairs Commission before being recognized as an entity to operate in the Nigeria’s economic environment.
To my greatest dismay, the family of former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, in which his wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel represents the business interest flagrantly flouted the Nigeria’s extant law and manipulated the system with reckless abandon.
Findings on the website of Corporate Affairs Commission did not come up with any result about Daniel’s DATKEM in any of the categories on the website, except one DATKEM Fashion Centre in Ondo, which was registered in 2022.
Also, on the legality and the right of constructing the demolished DATKEM Plaza, facts have emerged on how Gbenga Daniel, against every decency and moderation in power gave approval for the construction of the edifice in 2009, as a sitting governor without recourse to the state’s guidelines and code of building and without any consultation with the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development; but just approval by executive fiat. What an impunity!
As if that was not enough, after Daniel left power and subsequent notices on the building indicating a total contravention were served by the Ministry, instead of following the appropriate path to negotiate for quick adjustment and conform with the law, Daniel’s, in connivance with their Project Manager played a fast one on the system and decided to apply for regularization through the backdoor by paying the sum of N500, 000 to allow them continue to violate the law as it is done in the banana republic.
To the chagrin of many, after their fruitless efforts to manipulate the process under the pretext of regularization, they even went further to erect more structures beyond what they were seeking to regularize and further contravened the building code in Ogun State.
Unfortunately for them, all the MDAs in the State are working according to the ideals of public service and in line with the philosophy of action as exemplified by Governor Dapo Abiodun, which gives priority to the ultimate benefit of the people above any interest whatsoever.
In line with that ideals, the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development swung into action to address this illegality and set a good example of upholding the supremacy of law above any considerations for the people to follow as responsible citizenry.
Several notices were served to intimate them of the legal consequences of their action but they defiantly ignored all and continued with the construction, until the last day of action by the Ministry, and the rest became history and lesson of obedience, integrity and patriotism for the rest of us.
However, the former first family should desist from peddling lies and whipping up unnecessary sentiment and painting the responsive government in Ogun State in bad light.
They should rather be sober and receptively learn from the indelible warning of the late Guinean revolutionary politician, Amilcar Cabral,” Hide nothing from the masses of our people, claim no easy victory. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures”.
Olaniyi Ajibola writes from Abeokuta