Administrator of demolished Olupese Oil filling station seeks justice

The demolished filling station

The ongoing reconstruction of the Lagos State metropolis has not come without its many discomforts. One of the casualties is the longstanding Olupese Oil filling station, located in Oshodi.

The station was demolished on February 3, 2017 by the state government. The bulldozers brought down the structure around 11:00p.m. on the fateful day. Property destroyed, according to the administrator of Olupese Oil, Chief Abdul Abayomi, included five dispensing pumps, four generating sets, and the freshly installed canopies.

Besides the destruction, touts allegedly looted the station’s supermarket, while its underground safe was broken and emptied. Also, its fifth generating set, which could not be moved, was completely stripped.

Speaking on the incident, Abayomi questioned how the government could embark on such an exercise, despite a court order restraining the state government from going ahead with the demolition.

A visibly distraught Abayomi said the land, which had been acquired since 1979, was allocated to Meshack Babatunde Adeyemi, a retired member of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
According to Abayomi, the initial title holder of the land got the relevant approval from the Ministry of Works and a Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) license to build a petrol station on the land in 1992, which was in existence before the construction of the Agege Motor Road.

After the death of Adeyemi five years ago, children of the late soldier leased the land to Abayomi to ensure continuity of the business. Upon completing all agreement formalities, Abayomi subsequently refurbished the station and remodeled it to a modern gas station.

When contacted to confirm the allegation, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Bolade Dapo-Thomas, simply said: “I am on leave.”

Giving his views on the issue, a lawyer, Kabir Bolanle Akingbolu, said the state government could take possession of any land in the state. He, however, stated that if a property was demolished without prior notice and a subsisting court order is issued to halt the demolition, which was duly served to the defendants (state government), then such action is “illegal.”

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Olupese Oil filling station
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