7th October, 2013
The police at Ojo Division have arrested a 34-year old woman estate developer, Mrs Taibat Aruna, for allegedly defrauding over 200 prospective tenants.
The victims allegedly paid millions of naira to the woman for 11 self-contained apartments in two bungalows in Ojo area of Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.
The victims this morning stormed Ojo Police Station, in protest and pleaded with the police to recover their money from her.
Taibat allegedly collected the money from the victims and used it to build the bungalows at Alimi Street, Ira and Esa Square, both in Ojo Local Government.
P.M.NEWS gathered that after completing the houses, she rented the apartments to only 11 apartments to tenants and bolted with the other victims’ money.
Trouble started when the victims went to the houses to take possession and discovered that they were more than 200 that paid for the 11 apartments and only a few other tenants had already occupied the apartments.
Taibat admitted that she collected the money and promised to pay the victims back instalmentally if the police give her time.
She said she engaged the services of other estate agents who helped her to collect the money from so many prospective tenants.
Some of the victims who spoke about their frustrations said they want their money back and the woman should be punished to serve as deterrence to other fraudulent agents.
One of the victims, Ugochukwu Ekeocha, said he paid N400,000 for the self-contained apartment.
Another victim, Oluwaseun Olayinka, said she was duped N355,000. She said she did not suspect any foul play after she spoke with Taibat and because she was a woman, she trusted her.
Muritala Mohammed, another conned victim, said he was still shocked because the woman gave him false hope that she would give him accommodation and he paid her N200,000 only to end up being duped.
Other victims such as Amaka Obododike and Emmanuel Okoli paid N120,000 and N150,000 respectively, to Taibat with a promise to pay the balance after completion of the bungalows.
While filing this report, more victims were still trooping to the station to report that they were also duped.
The woman was detained in the police cell to prevent the agry victims from lynching her. Police sources said she will soon be charged to court.
Taibat, who is from Osun State, while her husband is from Ogun State, said she has four children and since the problem started, her sister has taken custody of the children.