Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
In his avowed commitment to remove illegal structures erected on government property, including public schools and waterways as well as structures erected on the right of way of roads/streets, river banks, and high tension lines, in Benin City and other major settlements in Edo State. Governor Godwin Obaseki wednesday ordered the demolition of a hotel owned by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Mr. Tony Adun, who is an ally of the National Chairman of the party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
Bulldozers and security personnel were drafted to the hotel to carry out the demolition at about 12noon yesterday.
The Edo State Government had in October last year, through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, issued a seven-day notice to Adun to remove the hotel located at the Ugbor axis of the state capital.
It said the hotel was built on a land belonging to a public primary school.
Adun was engaged by Oshiomhole’s administration on tax collection from bus drivers.
However, Adun and other private revenue contractors were sacked by Obaseki who insisted that the state government has the capacity to collect its revenue.
Speaking on why the hotel must be demolished, Obaseki had stated that no amount of blackmail would stop him from demolishing the building because it was built on government property.
Obaseki told reporters that there was no political undertone in the decision since he had warned in the past that his administration would not tolerate lawlessness.
Reacting to the demolition, Adun who spoke on the phone, said it was unfortunate that the state government could not wait for judgment to be delivered in the case, adding that Obaseki decided to demolish his hotel because he is opposed to him.
He added that the court had fixed Friday, February 7, 2020 (tomorrow) for judgment in the suit he filed against previous attempts by government to demolish
He said he had secured injunctions stopping demolition of the hotel.
“We are still in court. I have injunctions against the government. Judgment is on Friday. I have Certificate of Occupancy in my house but I don’t have C of O of the hotel.
“Let him go ahead and demolish it. 100 years is not forever.”
Special Adviser to Governor Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said all injunctions have been vacated at the court.