The Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) has issued a seven-day notice to privately-owned Hot FM 99.5 within which to pull down its buildings including its studio or have the agency demolish them.
The statement conveying the impending demolition is dated September 17, 2013 and signed by one Chief Amadi for Proper Investments Limited, consultants to the OCDA.
The statement described structures at the radio station as illegal and defective and directed the operator of the radio station to reinstate the piece of land to the state it was, prior to its development.
Meanwhile, a source said the planned demolition has political undertone. According to him, it is geared towards cowing the radio channel which has given the opposition an outlet to vent their views.
A prominent indigene of the state who spoke on condition of anonymity said it is part of the grand plan by the administration of Gov. Rochas Okorocha to muzzle the independent press in the state ahead of 2015 general elections.
A source close to Hot FM wondered how anyone would describe the property of the radio station as illegal.
He revealed that two other media outfits seen as constituting opposition to the government had been similarly marked for harassment.
Responding, the Public Relations Officer of OCDA, Mrs Ada Okwara disclosed that the OCDA is undertaking what it has code-named Operation Show Your Building Permit.
According to her, any landlord who shows the permit of his building has nothing to fear.
But those who are found wanting, she said, would be compelled to obtain their permit and as well pay penalty.
She added that the agency was not interested in demolishing people’s property.
Mrs Okwara stated that in the case of Hot FM, the media outfit was not able to show its permit when it was approached to do so and thereby risks demolition of its structures if it does not comply by obtaining the permit and paying the fine of N500,000.
Hot FM is owned by Senator Chris Anyanwu who represents Owerri Zone at the National Assembly on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). It would be recalled that the senator’s convoy was involved in a row on December 26, 2012 along the Azaraegbelu section of the ever-busy Owerri-Umuahia Expressway with Gov. Okorocha’s convoy.
Courtesy: Nigeria Newspoint