There was chaos in 22, Anuoluwapo Street, in the Ejigbo area of Lagos State, on Saturday, after about 200 house seekers who paid various sums of money for accommodation discovered that they had been duped.
It was gathered that the landlady of the one-storey building, identified as Kudirat, allegedly connived with an agent, Tunde Nojeemdeen, to perpetrate the fraud.
Kudirat was alleged to have directed the prospective tenants to Nojeemdeen for payments after they enquired about the building.
Things took another turn on Saturday, September 24, when the victims got to the house and discovered that the number of tenants outnumbered the 14 available flats.
One of the victims, Oluwakemi Sodiq, said the prospective tenants paid sums ranging from N300,000 to N500,000.
She said, “On September 24, I was at my brother’s wedding when they told me that there was commotion at the house. On getting here, many had been injured; the police even came and arrested some people. All we want is justice; we need our money back. We can no longer hold the pain. As I speak to you, the wife of one of us just gave birth but he has nowhere to put both mother and child. They are currently staying at their pastor’s house. This is our reality. We are homeless.”
Sodiq stated that the matter had been reported at the Ejigbo Police Station and was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
The married woman alleged that the SCID officers demanded N50,000 from each of the victims.
In response to the matter, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, advised house seekers to use the right channels when looking for accommodation.
He said, “These developers are supposed to be registered so that one can check their names and see if they’re genuine; you don’t just hand over money to any developer.
“The state ministry of housing has a branch that handles such matters, where property can be enquired about, so no one becomes a victim. Before anyone does anything regarding any property, they should involve a lawyer. What this developer has done is criminal and I believe the police are on the matter.”