Benin - Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, on Wednesday said his administration had not demolished any property belonging to University of Benin (UNIBEN), but only took possession of government's property.
Oshiomhole reiterated this while answering questions from newsmen in Benin.
He said that the court case between the university and the state government had lingered for several years.
The governor also said that the court had ruled in favour of the government and had ordered the university to vacate the property.
He explained that rather than vacating the area, the institution’s authority hatched plans to sell the property.
Oshiomhole disclosed that it was in a bid to stop the sale of the property that prompted the action of the government on Monday.
He also said that the government was unaware of any appeal against the court ruling by either the UNIBEN authority or a stay of execution granted by any court.
Also read: UNIBEN employees protest demolition of official quarters
Similarly, Henry Idahagbon, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, in his reaction to the judicial issue, said the government was not at fault.
Idahagbon said that he was not aware of any stay of execution, adding that if the institution’s authority could provide the evidence of a stay of execution served on the government, he would resign his appointment.
He disclosed that a court in 1981 had ruled in favour of the government and re-echoed that government only repossessed their property.
The state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had on Tuesday described the demolition of the UNIBEN senior staff quarters by the government as a fight against the Federal Government.
The state chairman of the party, Dan Orbih, described the action as 'barbaric', saying that it was wrong for a government to infringe on the constitutional rights of the citizens, especially when the issues were still pending in court.