Wheelchair-bound celebrated musician, Yinka Ayefele wached helplessly as excavators from the Oyo State Government early on Sunday morning stormed the Music House headquaters of the artiste’s Radio station and music studios.
Government bulldozers had arrived the Challenge area of Ibadan where the building was located at about 4.30am and pulled it down.
Ayefele’s Music House, reportedly worth N800m, was razed in violation of a court order restraining the Oyo State Government from demolishing it.
As reported by the News Agency of Nigeria, government officials had demolished the building before the dawn of Sunday, sometime around 4.30am.
The state government had marked the structure, located on the Challenge-Toll Gate road, for demolition, stating that it contravened the state’s planning laws.
But Ayefele had approached an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, seeking to stop the planned demolition.
Ayefele’s counsel, Mr. Olayinka Bolanle, in an ex parte motion filed before the court, sought for an order of the court restraining the state government from demolishing the property pending the determination of the suit.
The government on Sunday morning, however, demolished the Music House which housed a radio station, Fresh FM, and music recording studios that belong to Ayefele.
A demolition notice, which had a grace of three days, was posted on the wall of the building last week and it expired on Thursday, raising apprehension that on Thursday, the building would be demolished.
However, Ayefele approached a court in Ibadan to secure an injunction restraining the government or its agents from carrying out the order.
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 attempt to demolish the property of the claimants/applicants lying, being and situate at plot 11A and 11B along link ring road to Lagos express road, Ibadan, Oyo State or in any manner proceeding to enforce the notice of demolition dated 13 August 13, 2018 with reference No. TF20181308/002 issued by the defendants/respondents pending the determination of the substantive suit already filed.”
Despite the restraining order, the state government went ahead to carry out the demolition.
Thousands of the radio listeners and Ayefele’s fans gathered at the scene of the demolition, with many of them crying uncontrollably.
An effort to get the reaction of the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, was unsuccessful, as his mobile phone has been switched off.
He also did not respond to a text message that our correspondent sent to his phone number.