6th September, 2010
The Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Alagbon, Lagos, Saba Ndagi, hasÂ advised people seeking to buy property in Lagos to check out the genuineness of theÂ documents presented to them so that they will not fall into the hands of fraudsters.
He gave the advice following the arrest of a middle-aged man, Moses Olalekan, for allegedlyÂ defrauding some people of over N50 million. The suspect was arrested by officers from theÂ SFU following complaints by victims he had defrauded.
Olalekan was alleged to be the brain behind a syndicate which specialises in stealingÂ peopleâ€™s certificates of occupancy and selling their lands to unsuspecting customers.
Mr. Ndagi described Olalekan as a notorious fraudster who has been arrested in connectionÂ with various fake land transactions in the state, adding that Olalekan had assumed differentÂ fictitious names in carrying out his dubious acts before the law finally caught up with him.
â€œThe suspect, prior to his arrest, had featured prominently in other cases in the variousÂ sections of the unit. One of such cases, where the suspect was known as Barrister Olatunji,Â he and his conspirators now at large, sometime in January 2009, duped their victims of theÂ sum of N20 million for the sale of a property at Magodo GRA. This money was collected atÂ Ibadan where a signing ceremony took place and afterwards, they all went into hiding,â€ theÂ SFU boss said.
He said the police arrested Olalekan in connection with three other fraudulent landÂ transactions and was charged to court but he later jumped bail. â€œThe suspect, MosesÂ Olalekan, is also known as Gbenga Olowoyo a.k.a Oloye, who was reported to be at large withÂ one Idowu Adelaja Salami. He is also the leader of the syndicate where six suspects,Â including one female, were arrested and paraded for obtaining the sum of N41 million, twoÂ unregistered Mark truck and a Toyota Camry. They were arraigned.
â€œSimilarly, Olalekan who claimed to be Taiwo Moses, was arrested on 29 April, 2010, when heÂ and his accomplices tried to defraud their victim under the pretext of selling landedÂ property to him at Lekki Phase II for N65 million. But when the victim wanted to pay theÂ balance, he discovered that the certificate of occupancy (C of O) they gave him was fake,â€Â Mr. Ndagi said.
Olalekan confessed to the crime and said he had refunded some of the money he fraudulentlyÂ collected from some people.
â€œAbout the transaction at Lekki, we lured the victim to Ibadan on the pretence that theÂ owner of the property was ill and he needed money for treatment. The buyer went with us toÂ Ibadan and gave the fake landlord N2.2 million and he later paid N2.2 million into myÂ account. I have refuded N15 million to some of the people I duped and I will pay the rest,â€Â he pleaded.
Further investigations by the police revealed that Mr. Olalekan conspired with some staff atÂ the Alausa land registry to forge various documents which he used in defrauding his victims.