The Ekiti State government yesterday shut down a radio station, called Our People’s FM (104.1FM) for alleged non-compliance with development control regulations.
The station, located at Fajuyi area of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, was believed to belong to former Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Workers of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, alongside policemen from the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU), besieged the one-storey twin building around 9.38 a.m to paste the “seal off” notice on the station’s building.
The enforcement workers and the CTU operatives entered the building and ordered the workers, led by the station’s General Manager, Layi Oyawa, out of the building.
This led to an argument between Oyawa and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Mr. Ademiloye Fasiku.
But the policemen with the enforcement team ordered the workers to switch off the transmitter.
They said the property had been shut down for contravening building development rules and regulations.
Last year, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFCC) seized the building on the claim that it was unlawfully possessed by the former governor.
But the anti-graft agency later reopened it, after the case was taken to court.
Addressing reporters on the development, Fasiku said four letters were allegedly written to the station’s general manager on the need to comply with some regulations but that he did not respond to them.
Fasiku said: “We are here basically to enforce compliance with urban development plan of the government. We have given them notices but they never responded. We asked them to submit their approved plan for clearance, but nothing was done.
“An application was submitted to the ministry on September 7, 2018, by Mr. Olusola Micheal Adeyinka with the title: Application for Mast Construction, without an indication to use the property for a radio station.
“The second application by Finger Print Consult Associate also failed to mention a radio station as part of its proposals.
“The ministry was able to deduce the use the applications were meant for through the drawings. Further observations from the filed documents obtained from the ministry are in tandem with the ministry’s recommendation, as listed below.
“Following this discrepancies, a penalty charge of N985,000 was recommended but was not paid.
“We, therefore, recommended that since the developer of People’s FM radio station has decisively failed to mention in any of the submitted applications the original intention to use the development for radio station and not for a mast only, it thus failed to comply with the ministry’s directive to stop further activities on the site.
“But it went further with broadcasting operations. It is expedient for Ekiti State government to give a directive to the appropriate Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) to effect the closure of People’s FM radio station as deterrent for other defiant who may want to undermine the laws of the state.”
But Oyawa said the station’s shut down lacked human sensibility.
He added: “They assaulted me and tore by suit. This is uncalled for. They said they wrote notices to us; who did they address it to? From who did the letter emanate?
“The only letter I got was from the Signage and Advertisement Agency. Why is this coming at this time? However, we are going to seek redress at the court of law.”
Also, in a statement by his media aide, Lere Olayinka, the former governor said the shutdown was premeditated to silence a platform that can stop the alleged rigging the APC.
He said: “This same Governor Kayode Fayemi operated an illegal radio during the Gen. Sani Abacha days. Now, he got to this level of tyranny. This is another sad reminder of the hypocrisy of his claim to have fought for democracy. Obviously, he fought for his pocket and personal survival.
“From information made available to the public by the radio station, the government requested for payment of N175 million as signage fee, which for all intent and purposes, was ridiculous.
“It is sad that Fayemi chose to take the law into his hands by ordering policemen attached to him to invade a private business premises and close it down without the order of any court.”
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