A 45-year-old developer, Malik Najeemdeen, has allegedly duped 74 would-be tenants of about N50 million at Ijeshatedo area of Lagos.
The suspect was said to have duped the victims with the false claim that the house located at 1, Bankole Street, off Adigun Street, Ijeshatedo, which had already been completed was still under renovation.
Following the claim, Vanguard gathered that the suspect was able to convince the unsuspecting victims to pay in advance, pending when water and tiles would be fixed.
One of the victims, Samuel Chonkea, explained that: “I didn’t know that the developer would defraud us, because I saw him as a religious person.
“I paid him the money, after inspecting the building and seeing that what was left was just minor work. I was asked to come back September 28 for collection of my keys. But I could not make it there that fateful day.
“A friend of mine, who lives on the street, called me on phone, saying somebody was moving into my apartment. When I rushed down there, I was surprised that somebody has moved into my apartment.
“I was about leaving when the person who packed in came. When I told him I am the owner of the apartment, a fight began and I ran to Itire Police Station to report the incident.”
Chonkea added that it was after he fought with the other tenant that he got to know that many people had been duped by the developer.
He added: “I want the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to intervene in our matter, because the developer said nobody can prosecute him.”
Another victim, Mr. Isiaka Oluwatoyin, said: “I also paid N340,000 for a mini flat in June, but was surprised when other victims came to protest.
“It was a friend that introduced the developer to me. After I had paid him, he said I can move in by July. He later said we should move in by September 28 that the renovation was still ongoing.
“It was someone who called me that there was a crowd gathered at the front of the building protesting that they had been duped by the developer.
“When I got to the scene, I was shocked with the people I saw protesting and I also went straight to Itire Police Station, not knowing that other people had gone there too to make statements in respect of the developer.”
Oluwatoyin further stated that, whenever he went to check the level of work on the house, the developer and his friends would take him round, saying they were still fixing the tiles and the water.
Vanguard also learned that the developer and his friends had duped other people at Agege, Amukoko, Ikorodu and Ikeja.pp