Friday, May 15, 2020 7:19 pm
By Jethro lbileke
The Edo state government Friday demanded the sum of N18 million from Mr. Tony Kabaka Adun, as logistics cost arising from the demolition of his hotel earlier this year.
Located on Akin Oladiyun Street, Off Ugbor Village Road, beside Ugbor Primary School, Ugbor Village area, Benin City, T. Latifah Hotel and Suites, owned by the former aide to the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was demolished by the state government on February 5, 2020.
The demolition was sequel to a seven-day notice issued in October 2019, by the the state government through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, to Mr. Adun, to remove the hotel on the ground that it was built on a piece of land belonging to a public primary school.
Rationalizing the N18 million demanded, the government said it is in line with Section 63 of the Nigerian Urban and Region Planning act 88 of 1992 and asked Mr Adun to pay the amount into the government’s IGR account # 000663034 with the Access Bank PLC.
The state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki had denied political undertone in the decision to demolish the hotel since he had warned in the past that his administration would not tolerate lawlessness.
He added that no amount of blackmail would stop the state government from demolishing the hotel because it was built on government’s land.
“Businesses cannot thrive when there is anarchy and complete disrespect for the law. For us as a government whatever we need to do to ensure that there is law and order will be done.
“If you have done the wrong thing and taken over property not yours, to build on government property is the wrong thing to do. If you go and build on the road, that is not the right thing to do. If government tolerates that then more people will become lawless.
“Anybody who contravenes the law, no matter how highly placed you are in Edo State, you will be dealt with,” Obaseki had said.
However, Mr. Adun who condemned the state government’s action, said the government demolished his hotel because he was opposed to Governor Obaseki’s second term bid.
He also said a court had fixed a date for judgment on the suit he filed against the previous attempts by the state government to demolish his hotel.
“We are still in court. I have injunctions against the government. Judgment is on Friday. I have the Certificate of Occupancy of my house but I don’t have C of O of the hotel. Let him (Obaseki) go ahead and demolish it. 100 years is not forever,” he said.