By Isah Hussein
In an astonishing twist of events, the clandestine demolition of a building owned by Datkem Enterprises in Ijebu Ode has sent shockwaves reverberating throughout Ogun State, conjuring a mystique around the region’s development policies. The surreal obliteration of the Datkem building, under the cloak of night on Sunday, September 10, 2023, has left the community and experts mystified.
Born in 1999 and bestowed with the registration number LAZ 083424 by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Datkem Enterprises has its roots in the audacious vision of Mrs. Olufunke Daniel, who embarked on this entrepreneurial journey to complement her husband’s business interests. With the passing years, the company branched into property development and investments, embarking on an impressive odyssey.
In 2006, Mrs. Daniel set her sights on an aging property on Folagbade Street in Ijebu Ode. Methodically, she navigated the labyrinth of legalities, submitting meticulously crafted architectural and structural engineering drawings in 2009. Subsequently, an application for Urban Renewal Development permits was dispatched to the Ogun State Town Planning department. The state government, in response, issued the necessary permits and approvals for reconstruction.
Construction unfurled in harmony with the bestowed permits, until 2011, when it was temporally halted, a stone’s throw from reaching the grand milestone of the first floor.
Then in 2012, the Ogun State government introduced a game-changing spectacle – the “Ogun Standard roads” expansion projects. These endeavors drastically redrew the contours of Urban Renewal Development Controls, morphing both old and new construction properties, including Datkem’s, with a landscape of reduced property setbacks and diminished airspaces.
Notably, numerous property owners found themselves without compensation for their losses, as the government invoked the “compulsory compliance” clause, which defied the conventions of Urban Renewal Regulation processes.
Fast forward to 2022, Datkem Enterprises faced the challenging task of revising its construction plans to harmonize with the altered setbacks, a consequence of the road expansion. With persistence, the company navigated the bureaucratic labyrinth and submitted a meticulously constructed application to the Ogun State Government, seeking permission to recommence construction.
Throughout the epic development saga, the company’s name meandered through correspondence, sometimes as “Datkem Enterprises” and at times as “Datkem Enterprises Ltd.” Yet, the foundation remained steadfast, with Mrs. Olufunke Daniel recognized as the company’s sole proprietor according to the CAC records, where it was registered as Datkem Enterprises, LAZ 083424.
The unexplained vanishing of the Datkem building on September 10, 2023, leaves a beguiling enigma and raises questions about transparency and adherence to due process in the realm of urban development and renewal initiatives. It is paramount that the Ogun State Government unveils the grand secret and offers a comprehensive account of the rationale behind the demolition and its alignment with established regulations.
This mystifying tale underscores the urgent need for fairness, adherence to due process, and a dose of accountability in urban development policies, to safeguard the rights and interests of property owners. As the community and stakeholders eagerly await the government’s unveiling of its grand magic trick, the echoes of this sensational vanishing act continue to captivate Ogun State.