Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has denied ownership of the land on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State, where a high-rise building under construction collapsed on Monday, November 1, 2021.
The vice president, in a statement issued Friday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said he had no interest whatsoever in said property and that all his property and assets had already been publicly declared.
Osinbajo, who expressed sadness over what he called a “horrible tragedy” and condoled with the families and relatives of all those who died, injured or affected in the collapse, debunked what he equally referred to as “despicable lie in sponsored online report”.
The statement said the Vice President had referred the “disgraceful publication to his lawyers for prompt legal action”.
The statement read: “Also, the attention of the Vice President has been drawn to an obviously sponsored falsehood regarding the recently collapsed building published by an online medium on November 4th, 2021, to the effect that:
“The VP owns the land upon which the collapsed building in Ikoyi stood.
“That the said land was sold to him by Chief Michael Ade. Ojo, Chairman of Elizade Motors; and
“That the Vice President, at some point, intervened with the regulatory authorities in Lagos State to unseal the said property.
“Let it be made absolutely clear that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo does not own and has never owned the said land.
“He has also never been involved, in any shape or form, in the development of this or any other land since he became Vice President.
“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.
“The Vice President restates categorically that he has no interest whatsoever, and has never had any interest, either legally or beneficially, 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 online medium was undoubtedly well rewarded for their criminal and inhumane conduct. Typical of a hatchet job and deliberately irresponsible journalism, the publication was not signed by anyone.”