Over 30 accommodation-seekers in Unity Estate area of Alimosho have allegedly been swindled of at least N20m by their would-be landlord.
The money was paid as rents for six flats in a newly-renovated one-storey building at 24 Ajibode Street, Abule Odu Bus Stop, Unity Estate.
Some of the victims include couples, who are about to get married and want to move into the house. Another victim just got married and wanted to move in before the fraud blew open.
Community Standard learnt that the landlord, Olumide Alawode, allegedly perpetrated the fraud in connivance with a developer, Mrs Oke, and other yet-to-be identified agent.
The developer is popularly called Mrs Oke but her account details does not reflect such.
Alawode was said to have contracted Mrs Oke to redevelop his one-storey building, but while construction was ongoing, some agents were told that flats in the building were available for rent and an advertisement was placed on websites to attract prospective accommodation seekers.
It was gathered that some intending tenants, through some of the agents, allegedly paid into the account provided, TOYIN MARY HARUNA 0228943216 GTB, while others were said to have initiated their payment after contacting the ‘developer’ and her accomplices through the numbers listed in the advertisement.
After the payments were confirmed, the unsuspecting accommodation-seekers were said to have been issued receipts, and were informed that some finishing touches had to be carried out on the building before they could move into the flats.
One of the victims, who identified himself as Uche, said he paid N400,000 into the Gtb account for a two-bedroom apartment in the said building.
“I saw the advert and contacted Taiwo, who told me to meet him and from there, we went to the house, where I met with Olumide Alawode and Haruna Toyin Mary. Which I immediately paid N400,000 for a for a two bedroom flat into Haruna Toyin Mary’s account, TOYIN MARY HARUNA 0228943216 GTB,” he narrated.
Uche and others got the shock of their lives when the number of people claiming to have paid to secure accommodation in the building exceeded the number of flats available for rent.
Another victim, Sherif Ayodeji told Community Standard that the developer, Mrs Oke, called him on Friday 8th November, 2019 around 9pm for him to go to the building and pick his apartment’s key.
According to Ayodeji, upon inspection of the apartment in the early hours of Saturday 10th November, he discovered that it was yet to be completed and will require at least 400k to make it habitable.
“Some other persons started arriving around 9am on Saturday to claim ownership of the apartment. More than 30 other persons eventually showed up with the receipt of payment into the developer’s account. We decided to take the matter to Area M Command in Idimu and the matter is still there,” he said.
Ayodeji had inspected the uncompleted two-bedroom apartment on 2nd of October and met with the Supervisor on site called Engineer, the developer who posed as the building owner and some other workers on site.
“We agreed on an annual amount of 350k and agreement and commission of 90k making a total of N440k. The date of completion was agreed to be 15th of October.
He said only five tenants, including him, got keys to their apartments while others’ fates are left hanging.
While Mrs Oke is nowhere to be found and unreachable since the fraud was uncovered, the landlord has been denying involvement in the crime.
We put a call to the landlord, Alawode, through 0803 343 0253. When the allegations were narrated to him so that he could respond, he immediately dropped the called. He never picked the call after three attempts
Community Standard also put a call through to both Oke and the Engineer’s phone numbers but it was been forwarded to another number. After several attempts, the lines were switched off.
Also, she had not responded to Sms sent to her number as at the time of filling this report.
Below are details of Oke and her accomplices:
HARUNA TOYIN MARY : +2349090375215
Engineer : +2349090497299
Abiodun Oke: +2349090247455