By Nsikak Nseyen
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has refuted claims that he owns the land upon which the collapsed building in Ikoyi stood.
Osinbajo, who condoled with the families and relatives of all those who have died and those who were injured or affected in the collapsed building under construction on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, described the incident as a horrible tragedy.
Reacting to allegations that the said land was sold to him by Chief Michael Ade Ojo, Chairman of Elizade Motors; and reports that he some time ago intervened with the regulatory authorities in Lagos State to unseal the said property, Osinbajo maintained that he has never been involved in the development of any land since he became Vice President.
A statement issued by Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity said, ”At no time whatsoever did the VP buy this or any other piece of land from Chief Michael Ade Ojo, or entered into any transaction for the sale of that land or any other piece of land from Chief Ade. Ojo or anyone for that matter.
”All property and assets owned by the Vice President have been publicly declared.
”Also, the Vice President has never spoken to the Governor of Lagos State or any other official of the State Government regarding the unsealing of the said building on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, which subsequently collapsed. He has, indeed, never acted to influence any other regulatory action on the collapsed building, or any other building for that matter, in Lagos State.”
Osinbajo further explained that he has no interest and has never had any interest, in the land, the building or development.
”The wickedness and viciousness of a lie that seeks to utilise a tragedy where so many people have lost their lives, even as rescue efforts are ongoing, and in wanton disregard to the feelings and untold grief of their loved ones for political gain, reveals a dangerous desperation, as well as the heartlessness of the perpetrators of such despicable lies.” the statement reads in part.’
The Vice President added that he has referred the ‘disgraceful’ publication to his lawyers for prompt legal action.