A Twitter user, GreaterPraiz, has revealed that police officers in Lagos are perverting the course of justice by shielding a group of fraudulent land agents led by one Tunde Adewale.
GreaterPraiz, who was a victim of the agents in 2019, said the officers at the Panti police post and the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) work with the fraudsters to deceive their victims.
GreaterPraiz said this on Saturday, in response to a social media outcry by the latest victims of Adewale’s real estate fraud group.
THE TEAM’S LATEST FRAUD
On December 8, about 120 people learned they had been defrauded by real estate agents who rented a house of 11 rooms to all of them.
In shock, the victims who lost over N60 million to the agents, gathered at 53, Obayon Street in Akoka, Lagos, wailing and demanding from the people they met in the compound the whereabouts of the agents.
FIJ learned that the victims of the agents’ fraud had either paid for an apartment in full or had deposited some money when they found out they had been defrauded. The least amount paid to the agents was N300,000.
Idachaba Innocent, a friend of one of the agents’ victims, told FIJ that his friend visited the house while it was under renovation, paid the agents and got the fraudsters’ word that she would move in by December when the renovations would have been completed.
However, on Tuesday, December 9, Innocent’s friend found out that she and many others had been scammed.
“All attempts to reach these fake landlords and house agents have proven abortive. My friend lost N500,000 to them,” he told FIJ.
Ogbeifun, a financial expert who lost N400,000 to the agents, told FIJ that one Alhaji Tunde Adewale disguised as the son of the landlord to scam him, but he later found out that Adewale worked with Paul, the man who brought him to check out the house.
“The agent, Mr. Paul, directed me to one Alhaji Tunde Adewale, who he said inherited the house from his father. Alhaji told me to pay N550,000, adding that I might not get the room I liked,” he said.
Ogbeifun said he frequently checked the state of the house from October, when he paid, untill Paul told him not to bother anylonger, assuring him that he would move in soon.
On December 8, Ogbeifun went to check the house as he normally would, but he saw a host of angry and broken-hearted people at the gate and many more inside the compound in tears.
“Before I left the building that day, I learnt that there were about 11 people that worked hand-in-hand as agents to scam us, ” Ogbeifun told FIJ.
In the quest to recover their money from the scammers, many of the victims aired their grievances on social media, while many more teamed up to petition Panti, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the Lagos State House of Assembly.
This spurred GreaterPraiz to reveal that that they operate under police shield.
HOW THE POLICE ARE SHIELDING THE AGENTS
GreaterPraiz said the first move of the fraudsters was to make their lines unavailable. For confirmation, FIG attempted to reach the scammers but their telephones were off.
Next, said GreaterPraiz, the victims would write to Panti, and in a week, either the Panti or the Special Fraud Unit at Ikoyi would call the petitioners to notify them that they had arrested the scammers.
“On hearing this, everyone would be happy. But you would forget to ask yourself how he was arrested. ‘Who got him?'” He said in a Twitter post.
“You would realize later that it’s a well-calculated plan to hide them in the police station. With this, no one can trace and harm him with soldiers or hoodlums. You would have no choice but to wait for the police investigation and all.”
“Then every one of you would be told to photocopy your receipts and go to the station to write a statement. You would request to see him. They would bring him out, and he would be looking very fresh. Of course, you can’t do anything to him. SFU cells are very comfortable and not for petty thieves. The station sef look like hotel.“
“After a while, they would be charged to court. They would keep adjourning. When this fraudster appears in court, his pocket will be swollen, and you will all be wondering what is in his pocket, and some will say it’s juju. But just be assured they will keep adjourning the case, until you all move on with your life.”
He said that Femi Hamzat, the Deputy Governor of Lagos, was aware of a similar case in 2019 but nothing happened.
SCENARIO PLAYING OUT
On Tuesday, Tobiloba Agoro, one of the victims, told FIJ he got a message that one of the scammers had been arrested, confirming one of GreaterPraiz’s predictions.
“They are going by their playbook as predicted by the guy on Twitter,” Agoro said.
FIJ made several calls to CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, Lagos State Police spokesperson, and Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos Commissioner of Police, but they were not answered. They also did not respond to text messages sent to them.
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