Buhari negotiates another $6bn with China for road construction

The Buhari-led Federal Government has revealed that it is currently negotiating a loan of about $6 billion with China Exim Bank for the construction of the Ibadan-Kano railway line. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, revealed this at an interactive session with newsmen, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

According to the minister, “We are currently in negotiations with the China Exim Bank to get about $6bn to do (rail lines) from Ibadan to Kano. It is a difficult decision. Why is it difficult? “The money required is about $8bn to do a double track but the Chinese are insisting that they can’t fund the double track.

“They are asking us to do a single track and they want it at Minna so that instead of going from Minna to Kaduna, we should go from Minna to Abuja and then join it from Abuja to Kaduna.

“But there are those who argue that we should not accept that, rather we should tell them (Chinese) to fund it in segments. This, however, does not make economic sense,” he said.

The former governor of Rivers State equally spoke on the approval for waterways security, noting that $195 million had been approved, expressing confidence that it would help reduce crime in the maritime sector.

Amaechi continued, “The Federal Government has approved the sum of $195m to hire an Israeli company to help train our security personnel to help man our water ways.

“Currently there are criminal activities in our waterways which has made it that in some parts of the country, people charge what they call war insurance. “War insurance means that you go to an area where there is (seems to be) war, but you know that there is no war there.

“But in such areas criminal activities are taking place in the water ways. So, with the approval, after we have put the processes in place, we will ensure that there is security on our waters,” he noted.

Former Oyo governor dismiss APC defection reports, determine to pick party’s guber ticket

Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former Oyo State governor,  has denied reports that he plans to dump the APC in order to achieve his ambition of contesting in the state governorship election in 2019.

Alao-Akala, on Monday, left Ibadan for Abuja to submit his governorship nomination forms which confirmed his decision to contest the 2019 governorship election on the platform of the APC in the state.

After two meetings between the governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and 26 governorship aspirants of the party on Saturday and Sunday, an report had it that Alao-Akala and some of the other aspirants were uncomfortable with the governor’s body language and that they were considering defecting to other parties.

Alao-Akala was said to have made contact with the leadership of the Africa Democratic Congress in a bid to be the party’s standard bearer for the 2019 governorship election in the state.

But a statement signed by the Head, New Media and Public Affairs, Alao-Akala Campaign Organisation, Jeremiah Akande, denied the move, stressing that the former governor was not considering dropping his ambition or dumping the APC.

The statement read in part, “The Media and Publicity Directorate of Alao-Akala Campaign Organisation, after a careful study of the said report and unfounded information pieced together in the body of the story.

“Came to a professional conclusion that the idea behind the report was a mere publicity stunt aimed at laundering the image of the political party in question.

“The campaign organisation of Alao-Akala wishes to once again reiterate His Excellency, Alao-Akala’s unshaken commitment and dedication to the ideals of the APC in Oyo State and at the national level and urge his teeming supporters to remain steadfast and resolute in their belief in him, as the journey towards 2019 begins in earnest.”

EFCC close N4.7bn fraud case against former Governor, awaits judgement

The EFCC has closed its case against former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja. Ladoja was charged with N4.7billion fraud before a federal high court in Lagos. He was charged alongside a former commissioner for finance in the state, Waheed Akanbi.

The accused were brought before justice Mohammed Idris on December 14, 2016, for allegedly siphoning and laundering N4.7 billion from the coffers of Oyo state government. Both pleaded not guilty to the eight-count charge preferred against them by the EFCC.

At the resumed trial on Tuesday, counsel to the accused, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika and Bolaji Onilenla, told the court that they intended making a “no case submission” and prayed the court for adjournment.

Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned the case until September 27 for adoption of written addresses.

The EFCC had accused Ladoja and Akanbi of converting N1.9 billion belonging to the state for their personal use through a company known as Heritage Apartments Ltd.

Ladoja was also accused of removing 600,000 pounds from the state coffers in 2007 which he allegedly sent to his daughter in London.

In addition, the ex-governor was accused of converting N42 million belonging to the state for his personal use and subsequently used same to purchase an armoured car.

The EFCC added that Ladoja converted N728 million and N77 million at different times in 2007 for his personal use and transferred same to Bistrum Investments for the purchase of a property in Ibadan. The EFCC said the offences contravened sections 14, 16, 17 (a) and 18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.

Oyo State governor meets with APC guber hopefuls on Ibadan

Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi has met with candidates seeking to vie for the governorship seat in Oyo.

Present at the meeting were Alao Akala, a former governor of Oyo State, as well as other governorship candidates.

Ajimobi disclosed this in a tweet via his handle, on Saturday.

The post read: “Earlier today, I met with the Oyo State APC Gubernatorial Aspirants at The Governor’s Lodge, Ibadan”.

Fele, Oyo NURTW boss buried amid tears

The remains of Oyo State and Southwest Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde (aka Fele), were interred yesterday according to Islamic rites at his Elebu, Ibadan home.

The burial, which was held amid tears and wailing by his family, colleagues, associates, was witnesses by officials of the union from different parts of the country, security chiefs and government officials.

Dignitaries at the event include the Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Security, Mr Segun Bolarinwa (who represented the government), Police Commissioner Abiodun Odude, Kehinde Subair, Akeem Ige, Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), some Nollywood actors and musicians.

NURTW’s National President Najim Yasin announced Fele’s death in a radio broadcast on Tuesday night.

The body of the union leader, who died at an Abuja hospital of kidney-related ailment, was led by the Osun State Chairman of the union, Mr Folorunso Olalekan (aka Lekan Salam).

It arrived Ibadan at 9.20 am in a white Toyota Hiace ambulance, with registed as (Abuja) RAHIS 8.

The ambulance was piloted in a convoy from Ire-Akari junction to his house amid tears.

The body was handed over for Islamic Janazah (pre-burial rites).

It was returned at 10.07 am for a special prayer, led by Sheikh AbdulRosheed Babalamunigun, with other Islamic clerics.

The body was shrouded in a light lemon coloured mat and taken to a garage in the compound for interment at 10.12 am.

The funeral rites were accompanied by panegyrics and shouts of continual Allahu Akbar! (Allah is Great) as the body was lowered to the grave.

There was an outburst of emotions when Fele’s wife, Alhaja Kemi, and the children were led to perform the dust-to-dust rites.

Fele’s eldest son, Alhaji Afeez Oyerinde, thanked the people for their love and support for his father.

He said: “My father was a soft personality who loved to help people until his death. I do not know him by any wicked act. His death was surprising, shocking and painful to me. My prayer is that Allah should forgive him of his sins.

“I want to appeal to everybody, because I know he was a man of many people, to let us mind our utterances. No one can kill anybody. Allah, in his infinite mercies, gives life to human beings and He is the only One who can take it. I am of the strong opinion that Allah gave us my father and the same Allah took him away from us.”

Also, the past Deputy Secretary General of the NURTW in Southwest, Alhaji Moshood Ajao, who led the union’s members from Abuja, described the late Oyerinde as “the best state chairman the union ever produced.

He said: “Today is a sad day for our union in Nigeria because death plucked the best rose from our garden.”

NURTW’s Lagos State Chairman Tajudeen Agbede said Oyerinde’s death was a great loss to the union and the nation.

Gov. Ajimobi vs Ayefele: NBC DG weighs in on Fresh FM demolition

The Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, has described the demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s ‘Music House’ as worrisome, adding that it does not speak well of the Oyo State government.

‘Music House’ is the head office of Fresh FM, a radio station also owned by Ayefele, a Yoruba gospel musician.

Kawu said this while addressing journalists in Ilorin, Kwara State, stressing that the government ought to have taken into consideration the fact that the radio station employs many citizens of the state, as well as provides informative, educative, and entertainment services to residents of the state and beyond.

“The development is worrisome because for all it is worth, the broadcast outfits are playing a big role in reducing unemployment, especially in this situation where many young Nigerians are idle. They also play social, informational, educational and entertaining roles in the society,” Kawu said.

“Such development does not speak well of the government and has a negative effect on the nation, especially at a point when more broadcasting outfits are influencing the social space in the country.”

The NBC boss said the commission will seek for ways to remedy the situation. He recalled that there had been a similar incident in Nasarawa State, where the government demolished a radio station, Breeze FM, on the premise that the building was against the state’s urban laws.

“What we did was to meet our licensee to find out what the issues were because he was prepared to go to court. We also met with the state commissioner for information and the governor. The issue also was that the building violated the usage of urban space,” Kawu said.

“We were able to reach an agreement that the government should give the broadcaster a new plot of land and assist him to go back to building a new station. However, just last week, I got a letter that the side of the government in the agreement had not been fulfilled.”

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State had justified the demolition of the ‘Music House’, insisting that the building contravened the laws of the state, and one cannot be allowed to get away with illegality just because one has a disability, or has employed people in one’s firm.

“About the house they said we demolished, that man apparently did not uphold the law,” Ajimobi told BBC Yoruba service.

“People say he should be pitied because he is lame. Does that mean a person is free to violate the law if he is handicapped? They also say he has employed people, but do thieves also not employ others? Shall we say because they have employees, thieves are at liberty to steal?”

The ‘Music House’ was demolished at about 4 am on Sunday, August 19, in spite of a subsisting court directive restraining the state government from going ahead with the exercise pending the determination of the case.

LIKE A PHOENIX, FRESH FM WILL RISE AGAIN! Fans pacify Yinka Ayefele after demolition of Music House

Following the demolition of the Music House owned by Ace musician, Yinka Ayefele, by the Oyo State Government, some fans and well-meaning Nigerians have pacified the singer over his loss.

Many fans have also criticised and lambasted the governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, for reportedly witch hunting the wheel-chair bound music artiste.

Fans of the singer pointed out that the demolition has rendered many jobless and will affect the revenue that Ayefele generates for the Oyo state government.

 

However, one Dotun Adebusoye @AdebusoyeDotun,  posted a document claiming that Gov Ajimobi through his lawyers requested that Mr. Ayefele tender an apology for defaming the governor during a radio programme.

@AdebusoyeDotun, Twitter

A short video clip showing Ajimobi and Ayefele when the going was good in the now demolished building have also gone viral.

In the video, Gov Ajimobi revealed that some people within his cabinet had urged him to demolish the radio station because Ayefele does not support them.

Meanwhile, hundreds of residents had thronged the scene wielding placards with various inscriptions criticising the state government over the exercise.

Recall that Ayefele, had shared photos of the damage to his properties with the caption; “Oyo State Government did at last…..my pains, my sweat…So help me God.”

See some comments:

Prince K’challa@KolaShangOne

Nobody can tell me demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s music house is not politically motivated. Ajimobi has been toying with the idea for the past 4-5 years..

Like a Phoenix, Fresh FM and Ayefele will rise from the ashes.

Do2dtun Energy gad

@iamDo2dtun

How much power can you possess forever, how much? so much to destroy something beneath you?

I condemn what the Oyo state government did to Yinka Ayefele’s Radio station. What is the justification?

Another Abacha move in a democratic dispensation

Oluyemi Fasipe 🇳🇬@YemieFASH

The constituted authority in Oyo State demolished a whole company to service his ego, while we are still dealing with the unemployment and job-loss rate in this country. If Yinka Ayefele committed a crime, did the other staffs who earn a living from fresh fm commit crime too ?

Bhadmus Hakeem

@Bhadoosky

Report reaching me has it that Billboards and posters of all APC candidates are being pulled down at the moment in Ibadan following the demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s Fresh FM by the state government. – Interesting days ahead.

Ágbogungboro@Daddybillion

When the going was good between Yinka Ayefele & Gov. Ajimobi. Na wa o. So, the governor was once in this same radio studio and said he thank God he did not demolish it before & the studio is the best in Oyo state. How can anyone defend this pleas? Clearly, politically motivated

eitch™️@harfeizz

It’s no doubt that Ajimobi is a tyrant, but what did Yinka Ayefele or fresh fm do wrong too? We want to empathize with him on the loss but questions should be asked too. Was there proper documentation before the building was erected?

Oluwasegun Owa@oluwasegunowa

The demolition of Yinka Ayefele property, by Ajimobi, worth more than 800 million Naira in Ibadan is not coming as a surprise.

If the romance between Ajimobi and his friend in Oyo state can destroy an institution like LAUTECH. What else do you expect. It is Sad

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B O L A N L E. C 🇳🇬@bolanle_cole

Ajimobi has done the unexpected, he is so overwhelmed with power that he couldn’t thread with caution.

Yinka Ayefele Music House Gone.

This building has helped in the employment of over 100 youths.

He is indeed the constituted Authority of Oyo State.

This era shall pass.

K-SOLO

@OBAKSOLO

Congrats to @oyostategovt and Mr Ajimobi for sucessfully destroying a Major Development, Puting Smile on the Faces of Ibadan indigenes & Also Rendering 100 of Staffs Jobless, After issuing Permit,Collecting Royalties, Tax for yrs. Now U Woke Up. Congrats again. Yinka Ayefele 👍

Igala_King@I_Am_Ilemona

What is most annoying about this demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s radio station is that an Oyo State High Court had deferred the matter till tomorrow 20/08/2018 for hearing. Gov Ajimobi ordered the demolition today to prevent being restrained from doing so by the Courts.

Lawal David O.@MisterseunPR

My own about Oyo State Government demolishing Yinka Ayefele’s radio station is that some people will actually go home jobless, like back to square one 🤦🏻‍♂️

I pray and hope Yinka Ayefele bounces back soon enough

Dotun Adebusoye@AdebusoyeDotun

Emerging facts why Yinka Ayefele’s music house was demolished today by Oyo government. A building that house Fresh FM.

Prince Adelaja@AdelajaAdeoye

From info, the same building was approved by the Oyo State government, the owner, Yinka Ayefele has been paying his taxes, levies etc for the past 10 years, one power drunk governor woke up and demolish a well over 800m private property that housed Fresh FM.

KinG NomSo👑@ani_nomso

One thing i know is Nigerian Politicians are not in haste to do anything that benefits Nigerians. So if the Court has told them not to demolish the Yinka Ayefele FM why do that? Something is Fishy….

Bhadmus Hakeem

@Bhadoosky

Enu-Ja-Wire!!! Governor Abiola Ajimobi “Constituted Authority” speaking at Fresh FM Ibadan (Now partly demolished) a few years ago. Whatever happened between then & now, I want to believe that Yinka Ayefele has plan to seek redress in court. I hope he has the necessary documents

Mr Stanley Nwabia@MrStanleyNwabia

Yinka Ayefele is a darling in the hearts of Oyo and SW Christians~He survived a ghastly car accident years ago which crippled him. He then channeled all his energy into Gospel songs, continued glorifying God and received great prosperity.
Oyo Govt antagonizing him is demonic.

Mr Stanley Nwabia@MrStanleyNwabia

Yinka Ayefele is a darling in the hearts of Oyo and SW Christians~He survived a ghastly car accident years ago which crippled him. He then channeled all his energy into Gospel songs, continued glorifying God and received great prosperity.
Oyo Govt antagonizing him is demonic.

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YourFavOnlineDoctor@DrOlufunmilayo

Just surfing thru Instagram and found Yinka Ayefele, the popular Nigerian singer lament how the Oyo State govt demolished his building. And a Nigerian in the comment section said he probably deserved it because he didn’t take a pic with him.

How did we become so cold and cruel?

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Ìbùkún Ogunsina@OgunsinaIbukun

Dear @segalink this building(a radio station) was demolished this morning by the @oyostategovt despite glaring political machinations on the owner of the structure Yinka Ayéfele. Fresh FM is the only station that hits hard on Ajimobi’s tyranny. The voice must not die.

Thank you

Michael Abimboye@mmakesense

PDP’s Seyi Makinde arrives at the demolished Yinka Ayefele’s Music House/ Fresh FM.

Oluyemi Fasipe 🇳🇬@YemieFASH

LAUTECH is currently on strike, the school have had funding issues for over 4years, the Oyo State government have not been able to make any meaningful changes, but was fast to demolish Yinka Ayefele’s Radio station under the guise of dealing with infraction.

Evil people !

Oluyemi Fasipe 🇳🇬@YemieFASH

I just read a Press Statement signed by Yinka Ayefele, reacting to the demolition of his Fresh FM and music house by Oyo State Government.

Oyo State govt approved the building plan and has been collecting tenement rate from Fresh FM for 10years, only for them to demolish now.

Wodu Wakiri The Wag@Oddy4real

Yinka Ayefele in spite of Physical limitations refused to turn a beggar but worked so hard to make a living for himself as well as hundreds of people. And here is our wonderful Governor @AAAjimobi demolishing his office complex on flimsy grounds and consequently setting him back

Sahara Reporters

@SaharaReporters

FLASH: Oyo State government has demolished Yinka Ayefele Music House valued at N800 million. @oyostategovt @freshfmibadan @AAAjimobi

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Funch£€@funchilala

Would be nice to get the facts without whipping up sentiments, I don’t know the facts but let’s leave “physical limitations” aside for now.

OONI OF ABUJA 🔴@Deji_Blissfield

After watching Gov. Ajimobi address LAUTECH students while protesting last year, I concluded the man is the most heartless, brute, harsh, uncouth, rude, unreasonable, ruthless & inhumane governor in the whole world. No surprises he demolished Yinka Ayefele’s N800m radio station.

Sahara Reporters

@SaharaReporters

FLASH: Oyo State government has demolished Yinka Ayefele Music House valued at N800 million. @oyostategovt @freshfmibadan @AAAjimobi

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Lere Olayinka – Aresa 1

@OlayinkaLere

Yinka Ayefele’s Radio Station, Fresh FM, Ibadan DEMOLISHED by the APC Govt of Oyo State this morning. under siege! is going! Warned!

U-TURN: Two years after he saw no reason to do so, Ajimobi justifies demolition of Ayefele’s radio station

Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo State, has justified the partial demolition of the Music House in Ibadan, which belongs to popular music producer Yinka Ayefele and houses Fresh FM, a private radio station.

In a brief address delivered at the eid ground in Ibadan, following the eid prayer on Tuesday, Ajimobi accused Ayefele of breaking the provisions of the law. This was made public through a video released by BBC Yoruba.

He said he deserves no sympathy simply on the grounds that he is physically challenged and that he has created jobs for hundreds of the state’s residents. The law must maintain its course, he maintained.

“And about the house they said we demolished,” the governor said, “that man apparently did not uphold the law.”

Ayefẹlẹ jẹ́ àkàndá kò fún láṣẹ láti rú òfin – Ajimọbi

Gómìnà Ajimọbi t'ìpínlẹ̀ Ọ̀yọ́ ní òun ṣetán láti wá nǹkan ṣe sí ọ̀rọ́ iléeṣẹ́ FRESH FM Ibadan ti @yYinka Ayefele tí wọ́n wó ní'bàdàn https://bbc.in/2BxHw69 Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)

Posted by BBC News Yoruba on Tuesday, 21 August 2018

He added: “People say he should be pitied because he is lame. Does that mean a person is free to violate the law if he is handicapped? They also say he has employed people, but do thieves also not employ others? Shall we say because they have employees, thieves are at liberty to steal?

“And we told them about the road… He has…spoken though, and we shall have pity on them. But, we need to be obeying the law.”

Ajimobi appeared to suggest that the famous gospel artiste has apologised and will be offered assistance to lessen the effect of the damage wrought.

Ayefele himself revealed that Temitope Titilope, his wife, knelt down for hours to plead with Ajimobi against the proposed demolition, and said the governor gave her $1000 to assure her of his consent.

Despite his latest no-one-is-above-the-law stance however, Ajimobi seemed to view the controversy surrounding the Music House from the lens of political expediency two years ago. In fact, he said he saw no need at all to tear down the building.

With Ayefele seated closely beside him, Ajimobi said, in a 2016 broadcast aired by Fresh FM, that he was encouraged to demolish the building because the owner opposed his government, but that he is glad he acted otherwise. He also praised the station, describing it as the best in the state.

“When we contested the first and won, a lot [of people] told us to demolish the radio station because your programmes and broadcasts are against my government,” he revealed.

“Your boss, Yinka Ayefele, was also using songs to insult us. I didn’t see any reason why I should demolish the studio. If Ayefele is not for us today, he [will] support us later in future.”

He continued: “I am thankful I did not demolish it then. God said we should come here. Is it not Ayefele who is seated beside me? He is now comparing the dove to the turkey [i.e. acting with duplicity, or has reversed his position].

“So I am excited to be here, and pray to God to continue to make this station fare well. It made me happy when I discovered, after arriving, that they have done well. I am one individual who prefers that things are done in an orderly manner.”

“Without any equivocation,” he added, “it is the best studio I have seen in Oyo State.”

He however seems to have changed his mind about the orderliness of the station’s operations as recent actions and comments from the state government indicate. The feared demolition eventually took place on Sunday morning, with conflicting remarks emerging from Yomi Alliyu, counsel to the government, and Waheed Gbadamosi, Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Physical Planning and Development Control.

Ajimobi’s statement on Tuesday has finally laid the debate to rest as to who was behind the demolition. It remains to be seen though how the governor intends to render assistance to Ayefele, who has since been cast into mourning immediately following recovery from illness.

2019: Fresh crisis brews in Oyo PDP over governorship candidate

A fresh crisis similar to what robbed the Peoples Democratic Party of electoral victory in 2015 is again brewing following alleged unpopular decision by some chieftains of the party in Oyo South Senatorial District to endorse Egnr Seyi Makinde as the party’s governorship candidate in the 2019 election.

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The decision was said to have been taken at a meeting held in Ibadan. PDP through its spokesman, Mr Lukman Agboluaje described the said endorsement as a charade and huge joke. “This is a charade as it did not follow even the minimum condition of due process of arriving at a candidate as critical and genuine stakeholders from the senatorial district were deliberately sidelined”.

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Among those said to be absent at the meeting were Alhaji Azeem Gbolarumi, former governor of Oyo State, Barrister Lana, Mr Muraina Ajibola, Senator Kamorudeen Adedibu and other prominent leaders from the district. “Even some of the leaders that were present were not privy to the meeting’s agenda as none was made available to them prior to this impromptu arrangement.

Image result for Engr Seyi Makinde

For example, a gubernatorial aspirant, Engr. Femi Babalola who was reportedly lured to the meeting was amazed at the turn of event.” Another leader, Alhaja Bose Adedibu, wife of the former strongman of Ibadan politics, late Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu was said to have cautioned them against taking this path.

“We want to make it categorically clear that the Oyo State PDP gubernatorial ticket is not for sale. We are also using this medium to appraise our members that we have a rebranded P.D.P which has departed from its shameful past where leaders sold the destiny of their followers for a mess of porridge.

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Those who still cling to the past are reminded that the political terrain has changed.” “When the time comes the choice of the party flag bearer shall follow due process in accordance to its constitution and electoral guidelines”.

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“We are therefore appealing to our loyal party members to remain calm and await the directives of genuine organs and leaders of the party that are constitutionally saddled with this responsibility, ” the party stated.

SERAP to Ajimobi: Repair Ayefele’s Fresh FM building or face legal action

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has sent an open letter to Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Governor, Oyo State requesting him to “immediately halt all further eviction and demolition of Fresh FM building and to show full respect for the safety and dignity of residents and owner of Fresh FM. We also urge you to immediately begin repairs of the Fresh FM building and to adequately compensate the radio station and its owner and publicly guarantee non-repetition.”

Image result for yinka ayefele demolished building

DEMOLITION: A crowd besieged Music House to sympathise with the Fresh FM after the demolition by Oyo State government, of the radio station owned by Yinka Ayefele, in Ibadan despite a court order, yesterday. See more photos on page 6. Photos by Dare Fasube. The organization urged Ajimobi to “ensure full and effective respect for the rights to freedom of expression and media freedom in Oyo State. We request that you take this step within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP will take national and international legal actions to compel your government to act in the public interest and the overall interest of the rule of law.”

Image result for yinka ayefele demolished building

In the letter 21 August 2018 and signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale the organization said, “We have information to suggest that the destruction of Fresh FM was based on political considerations and retaliation against the radio station on purported allegations of defamation against you. The facts suggest that the demolition of Fresh FM building failed to comply with the principle of lawfulness and reasonableness. The demolition was neither done in the public interest nor carried out to achieve a legitimate aim.”

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The organization said, “This apparently unlawful action has set a bad precedent, and created a high level of uncertainty and anxiety among many radio stations and other media organizations in Oyo State about the future because of the likelihood of their buildings being demolished when they are deemed to broadcast views which the Oyo State authorities may consider too critical or ‘defamatory’.”

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The letter read in part: “By going ahead to demolish the Fresh FM building despite being served with the court papers in the case filed by the station, you implicitly obstructed access of the radio station and their owners to appropriate forms of legal protection, contrary to the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Nigeria is a state party and which is legally binding on the government of Oyo State.”

“SERAP is seriously concerned that the Oyo State authorities carried out the demolition of Fresh FM building with wilful disregard for the dignity, health, and safety of residents and the owner, who is a person with disabilities. The demolition of the radio station has now exposed residents to the elements and the public to the risk of complete collapse of the building.”

Image result for yinka ayefele demolished building

“Since your government’s action in this case suggests serious disregard for the safety and welfare of the residents of Fresh FM, the authorities’ conduct may have risen to a level of severity so as to constitute inhuman and degrading treatment of residents and owner, contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

“Your government has reportedly cut water, sewer, electricity, gas, and telephone lines to the radio station, rendering it uninhabitable and incapable of discharging its constitutional duties of informing the citizens and ensuring that government is both responsible and accountable to the people.” “We contend that the action by your government has no basis in our laws, which provide that no public authorities must resort to self-help and carry out forced evictions and demolitions without a properly obtained court order.

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Your government’s action also violates Nigeria’s international human rights obligations, including its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to protect private property.” “Your government has responded to the demolition of Fresh FM building on Sunday 19 August 2018, claiming that it demolished the building worth over N800 million because your government was ‘carrying out its statutory role in the public interest. Your government claimed it gave “ample opportunity for Fresh FM to regularise its building plan”.

Your government also claimed the demolition of the Fresh FM building was not politically motivated.” “However, available facts reveal that the demolition may have been influenced by political considerations, and done in retaliation for alleged defamation by Fresh FM. SERAP has seen an audio recording of you at the radio station in 2016 wherein you claimed to be under pressure from some of the members of your cabinet to demolish Fresh FM building on the ground that the radio station and its owner Mr Yinka did not support your political ambition but that you resisted the pressure to demolish.

” “SERAP has also seen a letter dated 3rd July 2018 and signed by your Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Oluseun Abimbola wherein you alleged ‘libellous broadcast by Fresh FM 105.9.’ The letter claimed that during a programme “Political Circuit” on Fresh FM on Saturday 30th June 2018, the radio station ‘falsely accused, maliciously and wickedly misled the public and the entire world’ on your alleged interest in a private company.” “Assuming there was a legitimate claim in defamation against Fresh FM, the proper venue for you and your government would have been to seek legal redress in court and not to resort to self-help in the form of arbitrary demolition of the radio station building.”

“The UN General Assembly has recognized the “fundamental obligation of governments (including that of Oyo State) to protect and improve houses and neighbourhoods, rather than damage or destroy them.” “Further, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Article 17 provides: ‘Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’

Image result for yinka ayefele demolished building

Similarly, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party provides in Article 14: ‘The right to property shall be guaranteed. It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community and in accordance with the provisions of appropriate laws.’”