16th June, 2011
An Isolo-based estate agent, Adeyemo Seun Abiodun, 36, has been arrested by operatives of the Special Fraud Unit, Milverton Road, Ikoyi, Eti-Osa, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria. He was arraigned before the Igbosere Magistrateâ€™s Court, Lagos Island, on a 205-count charge of obtaining money under false pretence.
Abiodun, who operates under the name of Shoreyan Properties Nigeria Limited, was alleged to have used a two-storey building located at 24, Akinbayode Street, Papa Ajao, Mushin and 37, Adebisi Omotola Street, Isolo, Lagos, as baits to defraud about 200 victims.
The prospective tenants allegedly paid him between N710,000 and N100,000 and absconded with their money.
The accused, according to the police, committed the offence between August 2010 and 2011.
He was said to have collected over N60 million from about 137 unsuspecting tenants.
Luck, however, ran out on him when some of the victims went to the Special Fraud Unit to lodge a complaint.
Following the report, detectives swung into action and arrested the accused.
He allegedly confessed to the crime of having collected money from about 1000 people but that he had refunded what he collected from 800 of them. He therefore begged the remaining 200 people to be patient, promising to refund their money.
The victims who trooped to the Igbosere Magistrateâ€™s Court to witness proceedings told P.M.NEWS said the accused used some diabolical means to convince and collect money from people.
Following this development, the Commissioner of Police, CP Chiwike Asadu, has warned members of the public to always investigate estate agents when looking for accommodation, to avoid falling prey to dubious fraudsters parading as estate agent.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and the presiding magistrate, Mrs. Akinkugbe, granted him bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum.
The court adjourned the matter till 4 July 2011.
The accused was however, ordered remanded at Ikoyi Priosn when he could not fulfill the bail conditions.
Some of the victims who waited till 4 p.m. to see if the estate agent would be released were seen jubilating as the prison van drove off with the accused.