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Yinka Ayefele fans, workers protest planned demolition of radio station


Members of staff of Yinka Ayefele’s radio station, Fresh FM, and fans of the gospel artiste on Thursday protested against the planned demolition of the radio station by the Oyo State Government over alleged contravention of the state physical planning law.

The building housing the radio station was served a removal notice by the state government while the owner was given three days to comply with the directive.

“The government added that if Ayefele failed, the government would pull down the building, which has four studios for radio broadcasting and music recording and valued at over N800m.

The ultimatum was said to have expired on Wednesday.

The Director, Yinka Ayefele Nigeria Limited, Mr David Ajiboye, told journalists on Thursday that a court injunction had been obtained by Ayefele’s counsel restraining the government from carrying out the demolition.

The motion on notice read, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants/respondents whether by themselves, their servants, agents, privies or any person acting pursuant to the instruction of the defendants/respondents from demolishing or attempting to demolish the property of the claimants/applicants lying, being and situate at Plot 11A and 11B along link Ring Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ibadan, Oyo State, or in any manner proceeding to enforce the notice of demolition dated August 13, 2018 with reference No. TF20181308/002, issued by the defendants/respondents pending the determination of the substantive suit already filed.”

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The staff members and other sympathisers gathered in front of the radio station on Thursday with placards in anticipation that agents of the government would come with bulldozers to bring down the building.

Ayefele, in a statement said necessary building permits were obtained from the government for the construction of the building, calling on the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun, to stop misleading the public over the reasons for the proposed demolition.

The statement read in part, “Arulogun said the Music House complex contravenes planning laws and was responsible for three fatal accidents that occurred on the road in the last nine months.

“We want to make it clear that Music House followed due process in the construction of the building and got relevant approvals from state departments and agencies associated with lands and buildings. Saying that Music House complex is responsible for three accidents is just an attempt by the commissioner to run away from his shadow. He has tried in the past to influence a change in our programmes, saying some of our analysts should be replaced. We want the general public to know that Music House has not in any way contravened any building law as the commissioner has mischievously said.”

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The statement wondered why the state government approved the building plan and received tenement rates on it if indeed it contravened any law.

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