This Scam is very rampant especially in Rural Lagos such as in areas like Alimosho, Epe, Egbe, Ikotun, Ifako, Alakukuo, Iba, Iyana paja, Ikorodu, Igbogbo, Ayobo, Badagry and some areas in Ibeju Lekki etc.
This kind of Land Scam can be traced to some of the Projects that past Lagos State Governors have set aside to be executed in future. For example proposed bridges, schools, government housing schemes, museums, pottery villages, cemeteries or buildings of national or state importance and have allocated hectares of land for this huge projects from these communities.
At times the government uses its power to take these lands off these communities based on certain reasons best known to them but in almost all these situations they compensate the community they took these lands from and warn them to stay clear off these lands.
Well we all know the way things work in Nigeria. The government might acquire these hectares of Land but information about the location of the land might be very sketchy and they might not even fence it. But being a Government land it has been recorded in their system and whenever a new administration decides it’s time to look into that project as a priority they will go and acquire their lands but one thing the Government always does, is to put various sign boards around warning people that the land has been acquired by the government and trespassers should beware of the land.
But this is what these Land Scammers would do next:
1. They will monitor for months the frequency of government officials that come around to view the lands if they are still secure and wait till the visits become less regular.
2. They will now send their boys to go and remove the signboards at night one by one so that you won’t know where the government land starts or ends.
3. They begin to parade and patrol these areas as owners of the land and claim it belongs to their community.
4. If you are desperate for a land and you don’t do due diligence or call a lawyer versed in land search to carry out a thorough investigation, you will end up paying for the bad land.
5. You will finally enter 1 chance because the land wasn’t theirs in the first place. You can’t build on it. You can’t recover your money because these are rouges and finally your house will be demolished compulsorily by the Town Planning Authorities because you had no right to be there in the first place because that government school has been zoned to be on that land by fire or by force.
A Woman called me last year to help her do a search for her after she read some of my blogs online. Funny enough her husband was already quarreling with her for delaying the payment for a land an Omonile took both of them to view around Igando to buy. The Omonile told them that the land was a virgin land and there has been no dispute on the land either legally or personal. After discussing the price, they said they should go and pay the money to the Baale (Chief of the Community) since the land belongs to him and the Omoonile stated that no other person has been on the land apart from the Baale’s descendants.
The Woman was very curious because the Omoniles showing her the place just kept pointing to the land from afar without giving them a full tour of the land but they kept on haranguing her day and night to pay quickly because other people were also interested in the land.
When she later called me, I asked her if a surveyor has gone to take the coordinates of the land to chart it, she said no because she didn’t have any surveyor and contracted me to go and do the search. I called the Omonile in question and pretended I was the brother of the woman who was actually the one designated to pay on her behalf and I was carrying N3Million cash to pay them.
The Baale said he will personally meet me to collect the money. He was dressed in his full Baale Regalia when I got to his palace and with his other chiefs ready to divide N3Million. I told them I wanted to see the land personally and they told me since ‘my sister has already seen the land, there was no point showing it to me again’ I told them that I want to take pictures for my architect before they reluctantly agreed. On getting to the site I was advised not to walk into the bush because of snakes but once I pay they will cut the grasses properly for me to see my land. I told them ok and told my other colleague to write them a cheque while i discuss money matters with the Baale. That cheque matter distracted them while I ventured into the land to look around to try and see if I could see any beacon number or foundation on the land to query them. I saw something better. A Big sign showing the proposed NYSC Permanent site and buyers should beware buried deep in to the ground. Can you imagine?
On further investigation I found out that there is presently a court battle between some community members and the Lagos state government over that NYSC camp site. That’s how I shouted and started querying them that they are about to sell us a whole NYSC Camp land and some of them started speaking gibberish. Some just decided to walk away since they knew game was up, while one brandishing a matchet was just screaming that the land is theirs and government cannot take it from them blah blah. I now asked them why they didn’t tell us they were about to sell us NYSC camp land and he said its not his business to educate a buyer on the land to buy because that should be their lawyers job and that their own is to sell any land to collect their money till they tell them otherwise and if I don’t buy, another person that isn’t sharp or smart will buy and that’s how they bullied me to get out of that place.
QUICK TIP TO AVOID THIS SCENARIO:
1. If you’re going to visit a land for the first time before you call in Omonile Lawyer , continue to ask the seller repeatedly why that land is vacant and what is prompting them to sell 7 out of 10 times, if you continue to ask that question, you will get the same response but a fraudulent one will continue to change his story or add new hidden details that is worth checking out before you commit that money.
Bottomline Shine your eye well well before you throw away your money to buy Government Land. Lagos State Government will not pity you o!
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