Two developers, Oluwasegun Adewara, and one Okeowo, have gone into hiding after allegedly defrauding no fewer than 70 prospective tenants at Lawanson, in the Surulere area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the prospective tenants visited the building, which was under construction, to inspect its premises and afterwards made payments to the developers.
After confirming the payments, it was learnt that the suspects issued receipts to the victims and set aside separate dates for them to take ownership of the apartments.
Things, however, took another turn when the people got to the house on 16, Zamba Street, Lawason, on the specified dates given by the developers but discovered that the number of prospective tenants outnumbered the apartments in the one-storey building.
One of the victims, Jacob Dunya, said the house had just 14 flats, adding that 120 prospective tenants paid to the developers, who disappeared after their fraudulent acts were uncovered.
The Plateau State indigene said, “I paid N600,000 for a mini-flat for a year directly to the account of the developer, Oluwasegun Olanrewaju Adewara, on April 26, 2022. When I visited the house, I noticed that the work at the site was less as it was left for them to fix only the doors and the windows.
“So, they gave last Monday to collect keys to my apartment. But when I got there, the developer told me the place was not ready and said I should return on Monday, June 20, 2022. When I got there, I saw them fixing the keys to the doors and I was told to come back again this week Tuesday.
“I never knew that last Thursday and Friday, people had come around to fight them to access their apartments. I quickly rushed down on Friday and noticed that there were hoodlums around asking people to pay N100,000 so they could break down the padlocks used in locking some of the doors so they could have access to the apartments.
“The developers are nowhere to be found and we have yet to hear from the owners of the land and their lawyers. Over 120 people paid for the 14 flats in this building and more people are still coming. The money people paid will be about N60m because some people made advance payments for five years. They also gave us receipts. The matter was reported at the Itire Police Station.”
Another victim, Jenifer Ihemeje, while lamenting the incident, said some prospective tenants cried and fainted out of shock.
The entrepreneur said, “I paid N650,000 in April to Mr Okeowo wanna and others, but they kept postponing till June 14, 2022, when I sent a text message to threaten them. It was another person who also paid for a flat that informed me that about 10 people paid for a single flat.
“The person said a lot of people gathered at the house on Friday over the incident. So, I rushed down there on Saturday and met people crying, shouting and some people even fainted.”
A widow, Love Chidi, said she paid N250,000 for a single room in January and left for her husband’s burial in Abia State.
“But when I returned, the developers said they had not completed work on the building. My husband died in December and we were sent out of the house we were staying because the building had cracked and was likely to collapse. So, I came here, paid the developer and left for the burial only to return to face this war. There are over 117 people stranded here,” she added.
The receipts of some of the aggrieved house seekers seen by our correspondent indicated that the developers operated with a business name, Sheedison Construction Co.
A screenshot confirming payment into Oluwasegun Adewara’s Access Bank account was also seen by our correspondent.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the incident, said the command had launched a manhunt for the fleeing suspects.
“But they are not 120; they are 70 people. The developer collected money for 15 flats and absconded,” he added.
In 2021, a developer, Ahmed Ayinde, was arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly defrauding no fewer than 100 prospective tenants of about N500m in the Olowo Ira area of the state.
Similarly, in 2019, over 66 prospective tenants got stranded as a landlord, Olatunji Joseph, in connivance with a developer, Aderonke Olaleye, allegedly swindled them out of over N16m paid for rents for five flats in a newly-constructed one-storey building on Abeni Close, Asa Estate, in the Gbagada area of the state.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said, “We have the Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority Law 2022. The matter is described under that law and it is a very serious offence for anybody to collect money from people and deny them accommodation.
“But the problem is that our people don’t make enquiries; anybody who puts a board outside to say ‘To let’ or to say that he is a developer, people will just gather money and give him and the person will disappear. There are some of them who have no addresses but only telephone numbers, so this law makes it compulsory for anybody who wants to practise in that space to register as a practitioner. And once you register with the agency, should you collect money from anybody, it will be very easy to grab you.
“Now, we have a team that is going round on enforcement. Many people have faced the law for duping people of their hard-earned money and the agency has recovered money for people and resolved many disputes.”
B-I-Z-A-R-R-E! Police Uncover Ritual Shrine, Find 20 Corpses, Arrest 3 In Edo
The Edo State Police Command has said that it has discovered a ritual shrine located at Asoro Slope, off Ekenhua Road, Uzebu Quarters of Benin City.
In a statement made available to newsmen late Wednesday night, Deputy Police Public Relations Officer in the Command, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, said “15 mummified male corpses, 3 mummified female corpses and 2 mummified children corpses were discovered at the scene,” by men of the command who invaded the area after credible information.
Iwegbu, in the statement named suspects arrested at the shrine as: Chimaobi Okoewu and Oko Samuel ‘M’ both of Afikpo in Ebonyi and Gideon Sunday ‘M’ of Akwa-Ibom State, adding that others, while sighting the police escaped.
The statement reads in part: “Following credible information at the Command’s disposal that some corpse were discovered in a building along Asoro slope off Ekenhua road, Uzebu quarters,Benin city. Operatives of the command immediately swung into action and mobilized to the scene.
“At the scene, 3 suspects, Chimaobi Okoewu ‘M’ and Oko Samuel ‘M’ both of Afikpo in Ebonyi and Gideon Sunday ‘M’ of Akwa-Ibom State were arrested while others fled. An intensive effort is ongoing to arrest the other fleeing suspects.
“15 mummified male corpses, 3 mummified female corpses and 2 mummified children corpses were discovered at the scene.”
According to the statement, to unravel the circumstances surrounding the discovered corpses, the Commission of Police, CP Abutu Yaro, had directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of state CID to carry out a discreet investigation into the incident.
The statement also enjoined “the general public to be calm as the command will continue to ensure the safety of all law-abiding citizens and those residing in Edo state.”
JUST IN: Abuja Police Storm Hoodlums’ Hideout, Raze Den
A combined team of five divisions of the Nigeria Police Force, Federal Capital Territory Command, Wednesday night, razed a hideout in the Dawaki zone 7 area of Abuja, as hoodlums occupying the hideout fled upon sighting the cops.
It was gathered that the hideout, located at Dawaki Zone 7, harbours hoodlums terrorising the Dawaki and Dutse Alhaji areas of the nation’s capital city.
A resident who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the hideout was a hotbed for some criminal elements, adding that residents were usually wary of the location, especially at night.
The den was raided by a combined police team from the Dawaki, Zuba, Kubwa, Bwari, and Dutse Alhaji divisions led by the Divisional Police Officer of Dawaki police division, SP Ali Johnson.
A police officer, who also spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, noted that the den was razed to deter the hoodlums from reconvening and converting the hideout to a criminal den, after they took off as officers of the NPF approached.
He said, “The hoodlums, upon sighting our team, took to their heels. Hence we had no other option but to burn down the hideout.”
Commenting on the operation, the FCT Police Command’s spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, said the raid was part of the Command’s efforts to exterminate every criminal within the nation’s capital city.
Adeh said, “We are destroying and combing every angle to make sure that we flush every criminal elements within the FCT.
“We raided the place because it was capable of metamorphosing into a criminal den.”
NDLEA Arrests Abuja Businessman Trading Drugs Online
Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have arrested the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Marvelrock Pharmaceuticals and Stores Limited, Mr Orakwe Celestine, for allegedly engaging in sales of illicit drugs on a popular e-commerce platform, Jiji.ng.
Orakwe, a graduate of Business Administration, University of Abuja, registered the pharmaceutical company on December 16, 2014, with the certificate and support of an unnamed licensed pharmacist, who opted out of the deal in 2017.
The suspect, Orakwe, however, continued running the business and enrolled it on Jiji.ng platform in 2019.
A statement by the NDLEA’s spokesperson, Femi Babafemi, stated that he came under the anti-narcotics agency’s radar in October 2021 after advertising many pharmaceutical products such as Tramadol, Ketamine Hydrochloride injection, Hypnox flunitrazepam tablets among others on the Jiji.ng online marketplace.
The statement read in part, “Between October 26, 2021, and August 8, 2022, the NDLEA team assigned to investigate Orakwe’s drug business activities was able to establish that he was selling Tramadol 225mg and other illicit and/or controlled drugs through the e-commerce platform.
“He was arrested with some quantities of Tramadol and Swiphnol brand of Rohypnol on Monday, August 8, at a drink joint in the Jabi area of Abuja where he had gone to make some supplies of orders made through his online channel on Jiji.ng.”
Reacting to Orakwe’s arrest, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.), noted that the painstaking investigation and process of arresting the businessman should send a strong message to drug peddlers hiding behind the internet to engage in marketing and selling of illicit and/or controlled drugs, adding that the anti-narcotics agency would definitely get them to face the consequences of their action.
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