Hello <>,
Here is the part two of the article written by Debo Adejana, the managing director of Realty Point Limited. I hope you find it worthy.


Another story is that of a bank manager of one of the new generation banks.

Tope Olatunbosun has always dreamt of having her own place, so when a corporate customer of her bank came up with a real estate scheme, she could buy into, to her it was an answered prayer.

The terms were agreeable and above all else, it solved the Omo – onile issue she was bent on avoiding, or so she thought until……

“Everything actually looked okay especially because the developer’s company was a customer of my bank- (she was the account officer to the company as well as the branch manager).

In fact too many things made it look good and okay – here was an honorable member of the Nigeria lower house (the house of Assembly), he was also someone I had regular interface with as it pertained to the company’s account, So nothing looked out of place.

I even went as far as inviting some of my friends to buy into the scheme.” Says Tope with a sour look.

She did not mind that it was far-away Port-Harcourt because she was comfortable with the man behind the project.

The proposed estate was to have detached building as well as a couple of apartment buildings with 8nos of flats of varying room numbers.

The form for application was N 10, 000 while a down payment of N 120,000 was to be made. Thereafter the estate would be built and after delivery, payments in three installment of the balance of N 600,000 would be made.

“I had made the payment for the form and also the down payment. I was not even perturbed when I heard nothing from them for about three months – not until my friends started wondering what was up.

All of a sudden, phone calls to the honourable weren’t been picked up anymore. Messages from his office were either that he is out of town or not available.

That was in 2003: till date I have not heard from him, neither have I set my eyes on him. What made it more pathetic was the fact that this did not even happen in Lagos, it was in Port – Harcourt.”

To Tope, such things were limited to Lagos and Omo – oniles, NOT corporate bodies.

“I hate to think I was duped, but all the signs are apparently there. I can understand that things probably did not go as anticipated but then again, wouldn’t it have been better and more honourable if we were at least kept abreast of happenings.

I have been moved back to Lagos for a while now, so I really haven’t had time to think about it and decide what to do.” She concludes.

While it looked like the antics perpetrated by Omo-Oniles and owners of landed properties are limited to individual buyers, the truth is that it is not.

Institutions and corporate organizations also get duped as depicted in this story which was recorded in the national daily- The Punch a few years ago.

“A very different scenario of power – play is being acted out leaving the Assemblies of God church in Rivers State trying to understand exactly what happened to their investments.

A large parcel of land belonging to the Assemblies of God in Port-Harcourt has been forcefully taken over by a senator from Imo State in the last political dispensation of Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The senator was said to have bought the land from a one-time presidential aspirant in the state and a titled chief in Bayelsa State without a clear perception of its true ownership.

Measuring 6,453 sqm, the property was allegedly sold by the then Governor-General of Nigeria to the Board of Trustees of the church in 1947 with a 75 year lease subject to renewal.

The church built a house on the property for her missionaries and later leased the property to Mobil Oil Producing Nig Ltd in 1972 after the missionaries left.

The same property was leased to the aspirant who later sold it in 1987 after the lease with Mobil expired.

In 1990, unknown to the church, the former aspirant with the help of corrupt officials of the Rivers State Land Registry changed the ownership to a company known as PKJ Construction.

The company owned by the senator in-turn sold the property to another company owned by the senator and got a C of O marked RSL/34677/T for a 99year period effective from January 1, 1998.”

These are just a few of the many instances where people have bought properties and lost it. Somebody once asked me what the moral of this article is, and the way I could answer was to reiterate what the rules are.

1) Perhaps the most important is Trust no one. The crux of this is that friends and family who may introduce you to a property may be as uninformed about the true state of things as you.

So make sure you find out as much as you can about any offer. Use a lawyer, or a real estate consultant.

2) Again the fact that a person is elderly does not mean he cannot be fraudulent. Age is not a barrier, don’t be deceived.

3) Investigate as much as you can before you part with your money. At times, all the documentations might be in order yet the person selling on behalf of the family might not be authorized.

4) In matters like this CAVEAT EMPTOR, BUYERS BEWARE! You cannot be too careful and it is better to lose a N50,000 in findings/investigations than to be duped of some lump sum.

5) When you buy land, take full possession in terms of documents and physically.

6) Please remember that you can never be too careful in real estate transactions.

Learn to ask for help when drowning also. In some editions in the future, I promise to share the tell tale signs of a property under dispute or fraudulently offered.

This space is not for sale, beware of ………..

There are still very credible deals and dealers though. I happen to work for one, even if I have to say that myself.

See you next edition.

*Note that while the experiences shared are real and factual, the names of the people involved have been changed to protect their identity.

To your success

Debo Adejana

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