Oluwasegun Adewara and one Okeowo, developers in Lagos, have run into hiding after duping about 70 prospective tenants with a building under construction in the Surulere area of Lagos.
The Punch reported that prospective tenants had visited the building at number 16, Zamba Street, Lawason, and paid to Adewara and Okeowo.
The developers issued receipts to the prospective tenants and gave different dates for each of them to take ownership of their apartments in the storeyed building.
However, all hell was let loose when the tenants got to the building and discovered that there were more prospective tenants than apartments.
Joseph Dunya, a victim of the fraud said the house has just 14 flats, but 120 persons paid to the developers before their disappearance.
He was quoted to have 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 are 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 N60 million because some people made advance payments for five years. They also gave us receipts. The matter was reported at the Itire Police Station.”
Love Chidi, a widow, said she paid N250,000 for a single room since January, before leaving 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 said.
Jenifer Ihemeje, another victim who paid N650,000 to Mr. Okeowo, said he kept on postponing collection of keys until she threatened him.
“I paid N650,000 in April to Mr Okeowo 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,” she was quoted to have said.
“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 and shouting. Some people even fainted.”
The payment receipts showed that Adewara and Okeowo operate with a business name called Sheedison Construction Co.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the incident, said the command had launched a search for the suspects.
“But they are not 120; they are 70 people. The developer collected money for 15 flats and absconded,” he added.
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