Afenifere chieftain and Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, has dragged the state government to court, demanding N100 million as damages over the destruction of his campaign billboards by suspected agents of the government.
Billboards belonging to some PDP governorship aspirants were destroyed on April 22, 2013, a few days to the burial of the late Deputy Governor of the state, Funmilayo Olayinka, allegedly to give the impression to visitors, particularly leaders of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, who were billed to attend the funeral, that no opposition party exists in Ekiti State.
In the Suit Number HAD/35/2013 filed against the Ekiti State Signage Agency and the state Attorney General on Adeyeye’s behalf by his counsel, Olalekan Olatawura, the governorship aspirant is seeking the payment of N100 million as general damages, N2.25 million being the cost of fabricating and installing the billboards and signposts destroyed and or removed by agents of the state government and a declaration that the removal and destruction of his campaign billboards and signs by the Signage Agency was malicious, illegal, null and void.
Adeyeye also wants the court to declare among others that the first defendant (Signage Agency) has no powers to remove billboards after approval of the site and payment of requisite fees without any justifiable reason.
Furthermore, he is seeking an order of injunction restraining the state’s Signage Agency, its servants, agents, privies, and workmen or howsoever from interfering with his campaign billboards and signs.
In his 20-paragraph Statement of Claim, Adeyeye stated that in compliance with the assessment and estimation done by the state Signage Agency, he paid N300,000 to the the Agency on March 14, 2013 through his campaign organisation, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement, and was issued Revenue Receipt Number 5102211/HALKPRFJ.
He said that subsequent upon the payment and approval of sites for the billboards by the Signage Agency, “giant billboards were erected by Messrs Elowal Concepts at Ita-Awure, along Aramoko-Efon Alaaye Road, opposite the entrance of the Governor’s Office and in front of his campaign office along Ajilosun/Ikere Road, Ado-Ekiti.”
Adeyeye further averred: “On the 22nd day of April 2013, at about 11.00pm, certain persons acting on the instructions of the 1st Defendant under cover of darkness totally vandalised and destroyed the Claimant’s giant billboards at Ita-Awure and Ado-Ekiti.”
He said while making enquiries as to who destroyed the giant billboards, he read in some national dailies on April 24, 2013 statements credited to the Director General of the Ekiti State Signage Agency, Prince Adewole Ajakaiye, that his (Adeyeye) billboards were destroyed because they were not paid for.
Adeyeye, who described the Signage Agency’s claim as false, averred that the destruction of the billboards was a furtherance of the state government’s intolerance to opposition parties in the state and was borne out of malice, contempt, intolerance and avarice towards his person and his gubernatorial ambition.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.