Counsel to the Oyo State Government has denied the Government’s culpability in the Sunday demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s Music House.
Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN) disclosed this in court on Monday.
Yinka Ayefele had approached the court to obtain an order restricting the state government from demolishing the building.
However, at 4 a.m. on Sunday, bulldozers demolished the fence and some part of building, consequently damaging some equipment in the Music House.
The building houses Fresh FM, owned by Ayefele.
Informing the court of the demolition, prosecuting counsel, Olayinka Bolanle said the government ignored the court order and had gone ahead to demolish his client’s Music House.
He said: “Even after the defendants had become aware of this proceeding, it is sad and unbelievable, my Lord, that the defendants in the wee hours of Sunday, August 19, went to the property in dispute and demolished it.”
Speaking in defence of the government, Alliyu insisted that the government was not responsible for it.
He said: “We don’t know who did it. The first and second defendants [Ajimobi and Attorney General] are not aware of it. They were not parties to the demolition.
“My Lord, the question is: Who did it? I was briefed this morning. They said they didn’t know who did it. My clients are men of honour that respect the rule of law and constituted authority and will have no reason to demolish the said property.”
Speaking further, he stated that the government is baffled and is thinking of setting up a committee to investigate who carried out the demolition.
Further drama ensued when Alliyu claimed that the Government was not served the notice, and that dead people must have collected the court notice on behalf of the State Government.
Counsel to the government had also accused Ayefele’s lawyer of joining the Ministries of Environment and Habitat, as well as Physical Planning and Urban Development, in the suit maintaining that they were non-existent as the law establishing them, was repealed in 2015.
In response, the presiding judge, Justice Iyabo Yerima, expressed dismay at the words of Alliyu, while showing him a copy of the proof of service, which was acknowledged and stamped at the Governor’s Office.
The lawyer, after authenticating the proof of service said: “Dead people must have done the signing and stamping as the ministries are not known to the state government.”
Ayefele’s lawyer further prayed the court to give an order of maintenance of status quo to prevent the state government from returning to the property to fully demolish it.
In response, Alliyu said he would need time to file responses to all the processes served.
After much argument, the government’s lawyer assured the court that no further demolition would be done on the building.
The judge, thereby, adjourned the case to September 12 for the hearing of all pending applications, while urging both counsels to file necessary processes before the next hearing.
Speaking with press after the court, Ayefele’s lawyer described the government claim of not knowing about the demolition as ridiculous.
He said, “He came with the excuse that he is just been briefed and at a point, he said the state government was not aware of the demolition and that the government was even trying to set up a panel of enquiry. That is ridiculous.”