Music House: Ayefele Pays ‘Thank You’ Visit To Ajimobi

 

Popular music producer and owner of Fresh FM, Mr Yinka Ayefele, has expressed gratitude to the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, for assisting in rebuilding his music house.

Ayefele, who led top management of the radio station on what he called a `thank you’ visit to the governor, in his office on Wednesday, noted that the gesture brought joy back to his life.

The frontage of the building housing the radio station had been partially demolished by the state’s Physical and Urban Development Control in August 2018 for contravening physical planning and urban development laws.

The agency had justified its action on the initial refusal of the management of the building to rectify the infractions and its insistence on safeguarding lives and property of residents and commuters plying the area.

But following pleas by Ayefele, well-meaning Nigerians and the readiness of the management of the music house to comply with the restructuring model proposed by the agency, the matter was resolved with the intervention of the governor.

Read Also: Fresh FM’s Music House Contravenes Planning Laws, Oyo Govt Explains

Aiyefele, who described Ajimobi as a listening father and good leader, said he had learnt lessons from the whole saga and appreciated the need for mutual understanding and cooperation between the government and citizens.

He said: “I have come here with my management team to say a big thank you to our father (Ajimobi), a good leader and someone who I will boldly describe as a good example to this generation for his large heart.

“I also want to thank all the people working with the governor, especially the committee that worked with our own management committee on the remodelling and reconstruction of the Music House for their exemplary conduct.

“God has wiped away my sorrow through you (governor). You have helped me personally in this matter, because I have been down, emotionally since the partial demolition of the building. I have learnt lessons from the incident. Now, the building has become a better edifice.

“On behalf of my family, my staff and all the good people that expressed concern when the incident occurred, I hereby express my profound gratitude to the governor for the kind gesture.”

As a mark of appreciation, Ayefele later presented a sketched portrait of the governor to him, while Ajimobi in turn, commended the musician for the bold step.

 

Speaking further, Ajimobi, noted that institutions and citizens must not forget the lessons in the whole matter.

He said, “It is the grace and mercy of God that have made it possible for us to be where we are today; to be able to contribute to the society. I must first admit that my brother, Aiyefele, has contributed and he is still contributing immensely to the society.

“As government, it is our duty to promote and enhance the safety, security and socio-economic interests of the citizens. As a government, these we have been doing since 2011. We have been promoting peace, security and the rule of law.

“I am glad at your initiative to come here to express gratitude; even the initiative you took initially, to come and discuss with the government when our agency insisted that the rules guiding the urban and physical development must be adhered to.

“We agreed on a damage control because laws had been broken already. It is gratifying that you came and agreed that you would comply with the laws. I must say that you played a major role as a good citizen to ensure that government’s goals and objectives were protected.

“The Music House is no longer a death trap now. Those within the neighbourhood and commuters are no longer being obstructed from the traffic situation on adjoining roads. Those cursing me then, where are they now that we have corrected the contraventions?

“Citizens should know that government is for them and will always support them. But in doing this, they should also be prepared to obey the laws of the land because nobody is above the law.”

The governor prayed for the continuous success of Ayefele while also admonishing the media to guard against sensationalism and to be objective and factual by always establishing the veracity of their stories before publishing them.

Demolition Is What We Get For Being Honest – Fresh FM

 

A radio station owned by a musical maestro, Yinka Ayefele, believes the demolition of a part of its building by the Oyo State government is a result of its honesty.

The Head of News, Fresh FM, Samson Akindele, said this on Wednesday during his appearance on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

READ ALSO: We Have A Problem With Music House, Not Fresh FM – Oyo Govt

“To cut the long story short, this is what we got from just being professional; from just having what the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code called ‘straight dealing’ – which has to do with honesty and integrity,” he said.

Mr Akindele wondered why the government could have carried out the action, claiming it had been coming to the media outfit for campaigns and programmes, service he said they offered at no cost in some cases.

He also faulted the government’s action, saying that there had been some interactions between the management of Fresh FM and relevant government agencies in the state before the incident took place.

The Head of News, Fresh FM, Samson Akindele, speaks during an interview on Sunrise Daily in Lagos on August 22, 2018.

 

Giving an insight into the demolition, the journalist said, “On Monday last week, we got a three-day demolition notice and that was to lapse on Wednesday.

“So, we were left with no choice than to begin to ask questions but before answers could be acquired, the demolition team came in the wee hours of Sunday and they did what they said they were coming to do.”

Akindele said the radio station had approached a court to stop the demolition from taking place and the court gave an injunction and ordered that the defendant should be served.

He argued that the injunction notice was served on the government through a courier agency while a signed copy was sent to them.

The Head of News claimed that some armed security operatives at the scene of the incident chased fleeing staff of the radio station back into the building while the demolition was ongoing.

He said the employees, however, forced their way out of the building through the office of their chairman.

The demolition of Ayefele’s Music House in Ibadan was condemned by individuals and groups such as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

BON Condemns Demolition Of Yinka Ayefele’s Radio Station

The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) has condemned “in no uncertain terms” the demolition of Fresh FM105.9 by the Oyo State Government.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr John Momoh (OON), on Wednesday, BON said the station was pulled down and journalists thrown into the job market notwithstanding the fact that a case of alleged breach of the Oyo State Town Planning was before a court of competent jurisdiction.

“As an umbrella body of broadcast stations in the country, we find this action not only oppressive and high handed but a demonstration of flagrant muzzling of the media and press freedom which must be condemned by all civilized minds,” the statement read in part.

The partial demolition of the station, which is owned by music artiste Yinka Ayefele, on Sunday has been widely criticised.

The management of the station has also rejected the claim of the state government that the building contravened state laws.

In its reaction to the demolition, BON declared support for Mr Ayefele and called on the media in Nigeria and globally as well as all people of goodwill to condemn the action of the Oyo State government.

“BON stands with the Management and staff of Fresh FM and will support the proprietor of the station, Mr. Yinka Ayefele in demanding compensation from the State Government through any legitimate means necessary,” it said.

“The era of reckless assault on the media, especially by a democratically elected government is over and must be resisted wherever it rears its head.”

Read BON’s full statement below:

BROADCASTING ORGANISATIONS OF NIGERIA (BON) CONDEMNS THE DEMOLITION OF YINKA AYEFELE. RADIO STATION.
Abuja, 22nd August 2018

The Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) condemns in no uncertain terms the demolition of Fresh FM105.9 by the government of Oyo State.

The station was pulled down and journalists thrown into the job market notwithstanding the fact that a case of alleged breach of the Oyo State Town Planning was before a court of competent jurisdiction.

As an umbrella body of broadcast stations in the country, we find this action not only oppressive and high handed but a demonstration of flagrant muzzling of the media and press freedom which must be condemned by all civilized minds. We ask the media in Nigeria, our international counterparts and all people of goodwill to stand and condemn the action of the government of Oyo State.

BON stands with the Management and staff of Fresh FM and will support the proprietor of the station, Mr. Yinka Ayefele, in demanding compensation from the State Government through any legitimate means necessary.

The era of reckless assault on the media, especially by a democratically elected government is over and must be resisted wherever it rears its head.

Mr. John Momoh (OON)
Chairman
Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON)

Oyo Govt, Fresh FM Disagree Over Music House Demolition

 

The Oyo State Government and the management of Fresh FM have disagreed over the demolition of the Music House owned by popular musician, Yinka Ayefele.

Both sides were represented by their officials on Wednesday in an interview on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast show on Channels Television.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Toye Arulogun, explained that the structure was demolished because it was erected against the laws of the state.

He said, “Whether it’s a canteen there or whatever, that structure will still be wrong. It would still have contravened the law, so it doesn’t have anything to do with Fresh FM.”

We Have A Problem With Music House, Not Fresh FM – Oyo Govt
Commissioner for Information in Oyo State, Mr Toye Arulogun, speaks during an interview on Sunrise Daily in Lagos on August 22, 2018.

Mr Arulogun also faulted reports that the government demolished the structure because it had issues with the radio station.

He argued that the matter was strictly official, stressing that the government had given the media outfit enough time to respond to the concerns it raised about building other structures beyond what it approved.

“There is a building contravention, there is a planning contravention, and the government gave you ample time since 2017 when this engagement started,” the commissioner said. “That land has been encroached upon.”

“The size of the land that was given to Music House is not what they are operating on. The building size measured 29.7m by 21.6m on the ground, as against 11.925m by 10.20m in the survey plan submitted by Music House. So, there is a contravention,” he disclosed.

But the Head of News, Fresh FM, Samson Akindele, believes the demolition was carried out because the radio station was performing its constitutional responsibility efficiently.

The Head of News, Fresh FM, Samson Akindele, speaks during an interview on Sunrise Daily in Lagos on August 22, 2018.

He alleged that while the exercise was ongoing, security operatives chased back fleeing staff of the radio station into the building, as they had to escape through an office.

The journalist said, “This is what we got from just being professional, from just having what the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code called ‘straight dealing’ – which has to do with honesty and integrity.”

Although there had been some interactions between both sides, Mr Akindele stressed that the time given to them by the government was short.

He added that the radio station had approached a court to stop the demolition as soon as it got the notice, but the government went ahead.

According to him, they got “A three-day demolition notice and that was to lapse on Wednesday (last week).”

“We were left with no choice than to begin to ask questions but before answers could be acquired, the demolition team came in the wee hours of Sunday and they did what they said they were coming to do.”

The demolition of Ayefele’s Music House in Ibadan has sparked a widespread criticism from individuals and groups, as well as human rights organisations such as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

We Have A Problem With Music House, Not Fresh FM – Oyo Govt

 

The Oyo State government says it has an issue with the Music House of veteran musician, Yinka Ayefele, and not Fresh FM.

Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Toye Arulogun, made the clarification on Wednesday while explaining the rationale behind the demolition of the Music House.

“Oyo State government has no problem with Fresh FM, Oyo State government has a problem with Music House,” he said during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

READ ALSO: Demolition Is What We Get For Being Honest – Fresh FM

Mr Arulogun stressed that the part of the building that was demolished was necessary because it was in contravention of the laws of the state.

He said, “Whether it’s a canteen there or whatever, that structure will still be wrong. Whatever they are doing in that place, that structure will still be out of place. It would still have contravened the law, so it doesn’t have anything to do with Fresh FM.”

Demolition Is What We Get For Being Honest – Fresh FM

The commissioner said this was why the government carried out a partial demolition, noting that what they did was to take over what was allegedly encroached upon.

Presenting some documents during the interview to back his argument, he said the matter began in 2017.

According to him, the government wrote to the management of the radio station in June but there was no response.

Although the media outfit said its architects were working on the letter, Arulogun said the government expected a response while they ought to have engaged the government rather than go to the media.

He said a team comprising officials of the state government and the Music House went on an inspection of the said structure and made some discovery after the building approval was presented.

The commissioner insisted while the media outfit applied for approval for an office complex and not a radio station, a number of structures that were not included in the plan were also added.

“The first thing is that that land has been encroached upon. The size of the land that was given to Music House is not what they are operating on. The building size measured 29.7m by 21.6m on ground, as against 11.925m by 10.20m in the survey plan submitted by Music House. So, there is a contravention,” he said.

Arulogun added, “They asked if this thing could have been resolved? Yes, it could have been resolved but they chose to go the other way and government must do what they had to do.

“There is a building contravention, there is a planning contravention, and government gave you ample time since 2017 when this engagement started.”

Repair Fresh FM’s Building Or Face Legal Action, SERAP Tells Oyo Govt

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has given the Oyo State Government an ultimatum of seven days to begin repairs on Fresh FM’s building which was demolished on Sunday or face legal action.

SERAP in an open letter to the state government asked it to “immediately halt all further eviction and demolition of the Fresh FM building and to show full respect for the safety and dignity of residents and the owner of Fresh FM”.

The letter was dated August 21, 2018, and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale.

“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,” SERAP added.

The group called on the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, to ensure full and effective respect for the rights to freedom of expression and media freedom in the state.

It said, “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.”

SERAP’s statement comes a day after the state government insisted that the demolition of the building followed due process.

The Special Adviser to the governor on Physical Planning and Development Control, Waheed Gbadamosi, said the building contravened the planning laws of the state, and the owner was duly informed through various means.


RELATED:

Oyo Govt Defends Demolition Of Fresh FM, Says Due Process Was Followed

Court Adjourns Case On Demolition Of Ayefele’s Music House Till September


Although the state government rejected claims that politics led to the demolition, SERAP insists that it had information that suggests that the action was based on “political considerations”.

“The demolition was neither done in the public interest nor carried out to achieve a legitimate aim,” it said.

It added that the demolition had “created a high level of uncertainty and anxiety among many radio stations and other media organisations 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’”.

 

SERAP Condemns Demolition Of Ayefele’s Fresh FM Building

 

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the demolition of Fresh FM building, owned by popular musician, Yinka Ayefele.

In a statement on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, SERAP described the demolition as unlawful and a “grave violation of fundamental human rights and contrary to international law.”

The Organisation (SERAP) also said that the action was politically motivated adding that it will be challenged in court.

It, however, insisted that the Oyo State Government should ensure appropriate repairs of the building and adequate compensation.

Adewale said, “This is a gross abuse of powers by the Oyo State government and governor Ajimobi against a radio station simply doing their job. The action is politically motivated, patently arbitrary and entirely inconsistent with international human rights standards and national laws.

“The action amounts to executive rascality and seriously undermines the integrity and authority of our courts. This kind of action has no place in a democratic society that is based on the rule of law.

“The action amounts to executive rascality and seriously undermines the integrity and authority of our courts. This kind of action has no place in a democratic society that is based on the rule of law.

“The destruction of a radio station on the grounds that the Oyo state government dislikes their work is a textbook case of repression of media freedom and violation of the right to adequate housing.

“The authorities must immediately stop the demolition, ensure appropriate repairs of the building and adequate compensation, and guarantee of non-repetition.

“SERAP will challenge this violent and reckless destruction of Ayefele’s Fresh FM in court,” the statement read in part.

Read Also: Residents Protest As Oyo Govt Demolishes Fresh FM Building

Fresh FM’s Music House Contravenes Planning Laws, Oyo Govt Explains

Government bulldozers arrived at the Music House in the early hours of Sunday to commence the demolition.

According to SERAP, the government went ahead with the process despite a court order to stop the demolition.

SERAP further explained that Ayefele had sued the Oyo State government, and the court had ruled that “there were serious issues to be determined” and therefore, adjourned the case to August 20, noting that the state government had been duly served.

Court To Rule On Suit Against Demolition Of Fresh FM On Monday

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo

 

A High Court sitting in Oyo State had fixed Monday for hearing and ruling in the suit against the demolition of Fresh FM by the state government.

Justice Yerima had last week ordered the service of hearing notice and necessary processes on the Oyo State government at the hearing of a motion ex parte filed by the proprietor of Fresh FM, Yinka Ayefele, against the planned government demolition of the building housing the station.

This was in reaction to a three-day demolition notice issued by the state government. The state government alleged in the notice, which expired on Wednesday, that the building, Yinka Ayefele Music House, contravened certain building laws in the state.

At the hearing of the application, Olayinka Bolanle, who led a team of lawyers for Ayefele, told the court that the ex parte application became a compelling necessity following the shortness of the demolition notice issued by the government.

Referring to the state government’s claim that the building violated the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development Law 2012, the lead counsel told the court that the building plan was duly approved by Ibadan South-East Local Planning Authority on June 6, 2008.

Mr Bolanle also sought the court to make a declaration that demolition without a prior court order violates Sections 36 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution because it was issued without a hearing granted Ayefele who has a subsisting approved building plan number IB/SE/TP/C/019 of June 6, 2008.

Citing the case by Kotoye against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the lead counsel to Ayefele stressed that ex parte application should be granted in cases of urgency to protect the applicant from destruction, adding that the short notice indicated the urgency of the application.

Pleaded in the processes filed by Ayefele’s lawyers are: the deed of assignment used in acquiring the property from Ibadan Local Government Properties, approved building plan, the demolition notice, among others.

Responding, Justice Yerima said she was persuaded that there were “serious issues to be determined” in the suit filed.

She then ordered that the Oyo State government and the five other defendants in the suit number I/836/18 be served on Thursday 17th and adjourned to Monday, August, 20 for hearing and ruling on the ex parte motion.