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THEY WANTED TO BUY SIX PLOTS OF LAND! Estate agent allegedly defrauds couple of N2.6 million


A Lagos-based engineer, Mr. David Ojo, and his wife, Foluke,  have dragged a real estate agent before the courts after they were allegedly defrauded of N2,650,000.

The couple reportedly paid the sum to the consultant, Mr. David Alfred, for six plots of land they bought in the Epe area of Lagos. They were said to have been issued a receipt and a survey plan.

The couple discovered they had been defrauded when the title of the land could not be verified at the office of the Lagos State surveyor general.

It was gathered that Ojo reported the alleged fraud at the Ajah Police Station and the consultant was arrested.

At the station, an agreement was said to have been reached to repay the money in three instalments of N1m, N650,000 and N1m between July 4 and August 31, 2018.

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Alfred, however, reportedly reneged on the promise and was rearrested by the police.

Ojo told the police that he bought the land from Jonah through one Akinsipe, adding that he paid the money into the consultant’s account.

He said,

“I bought the six plots of land through Mr. Akinsipe in 2017 and I gave Alfred a total sum of N2,650,000. I have sent four different persons to Lagos State surveyor general’s office, but the land cannot be verified.

“Alfred promised to pay me N1m on July 4, 2018; N650,000 at the end of July and the remaining N1m at the end of August 2018. I sent constant reminders to him, but he still failed to pay the money.”

The suspect reportedly admitted to the police to have collected the sum from Ojo for the land but refuted the fraud allegation.

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He said he did a general survey which covered an expanse of land, including the section bought by the couple.

Alfred stated that the payment was not enough to register the couple’s six plots of land separately with the government which caused a friction.

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He said,

“Mr. Ojo was my client in 2017. He paid N1.5m in instalment for six plots of land at Lamija area of Epe. He also paid N1.1m for survey plan. The money was paid into my account. The survey was carried out and he has copies.

“My problem with him started when he said he wanted it lodged in Alausa (where surveyor general’s office is), but because the money he paid was not enough, the general survey of the land was done. He insisted that his own land should be lodged. Due to the high fee of lodging currently, I could not do so.

“He then said I should refund all the money he paid and I agreed to pay him in instalment between July and September. I was hoping that by the time we sell the land, his money would be refunded. We have a customer now who wants to buy the whole 450 plots of land.”

A police prosecutor, Inspector Philip Osijale, subsequently brought Alfred before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court on five counts bordering on fraud.

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Osijale told the court that the offence contravened sections 287, 314, 321(b), 322(1) and 365 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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The charges read in part,

“That you, David Jonah, on July 29, 2017, at 1pm, at Yomade Complex, Awoyaya, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, with intent to defraud, did obtain the sum of N2,650,000 via your GTBank account: 0013231869, from one David Ojo with the pretence to sell six plots of land located at Ilamaja area of Epe.

“That you on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did forge survey plan No QSOSA/LA/316/1489 dated October 20, 2001, showing property said to belong to one David Ojo and Mrs. Folake Ojo, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 365 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015

“That you on July 6, 2018, at 11am, at Ajah, Lagos, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did issue Diamond Bank cheque numbers 099953391 dated July 13, 2018 in the tune of N650,000 and No: 39637756 in the tune of N1m to David Ojo, covering the amount you owe him and when presented for payment within reasonable time, it was dishonoured on the grounds that there was insufficient fund standing on your account.”

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to bail by the presiding magistrate, Mr. B. I. Bakare, in the sum of N1m with two sureties in like sum.

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The case was adjourned till November 7, 2018.