Whilst making effort to combat fraudulent acts trailing the housing scheme over allegation of imposters pretending to be officials of the Ogun state government, saddled with the responsibility of regularising property documents under its Homeowners’ Charter Scheme, the state has called on all property owners to be wary of such fraudsters.
The announcement of caution, which came last week at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State, from the Special Adviser/Director General, Bureau of Lands and Survey, Mr. Adewale Oshinowo, urged all property owners to acquaint themselves with the modus operandi of staffs of the state working with the scheme.
Guardian had earlier reported incidences of cheats who are trying to take over the official role of the state, thereby making fortunes from unsuspecting members of the public.
According to the report, one Mr. Moses Quadri, had narrated how he parted with N5,000 after his property was inspected by three men, who insisted that he must pay for their transport back to Abeokuta where they said they came from.
Other residents of the Abule-Ijoko community within Ifo Local Government Area of the state said they got calls from the men before they came down to Abuke-Ijoko, a development they described as unusual because the state government had been sending only text messages to applicants under the programme.
“They have inspected my property and said the next thing I should expect is assessment. They called me that day and I wondered why they called me at night, but one of my landlord friends said I should let them because they shared the areas into groups and if I didn’t let them, it might take time before it would get to my turn again,” Quadri recalled.
Reacting to the development, Oshinowo, who said although it would not say it was impossible for such thing to happen, called home owners, residents of Abule-Ijoko, Ijoko-Ota, Ibafo and others in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government to be cautious of unscrupulous elements trying to hijack the state government initiative of “Homeowners’ Charter” to make money at the detriment of the masses.
Oshinowo said the programme was an initiative of the present administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun to reduce the stress and cumbersome being experienced in getting Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) in the state at a discounted rate of 78 percent, adding that culprit cut in such act should be apprehended and handover to the police for proper prosecution.
“The scheme was to minimize disputes on the ownership of properties, while property related frauds and problems of land speculators are reduced to the barest minimum. The “Homeowners’ Charter” programme will also enhance the value of the property market in the state” Oshinowo opined.
He said the programme, which was launched on December 2013 by the state government has recorded giant strides in rolling out Certificates of Occupancy (Cs of O) to about 7000 applicants under the scheme, adding that the government would not condone any irregularities and fraudsters to hijack the scheme.
“Our government would not fold its arms to be allowing and seeing any unscrupulous elements of whatsoever to sabotage or bastardize our programme. It has come to fore that some people now disguise to be “Homeowners’ Charter” programme staff and extorting money from residents, whoever caught in this act would be dealt with accordingly,” Oshinowo said.
Oshinowo, in a statement signed by the Bureau’s Press Officer, Mr. Ademola Orunbon, urged the residents to be very cautious and monitor the activities of the staff of the “Homeowners’ Charter”, as they would be in their uniform of Branded Sheet, Toyota Hilux Van, and a bulk SMS would be sent to the owners’ property before the arrival of the team for inspections.
He further stated that the team comprises of three professionals, including land surveyors, land officers and town planners, adding that after the inspections the property would be laced with homeowners’ charter sticker for proper identification.
Oshinowo said the team of “Homeowners’ Charter” will always come with the lists of properties to be inspected with property owners details, adding that there is no way you would not identify the authentic “Homeowners’ Charter” staff from that of fraudsters. He said that the inspection does not require any form of payment offing.
He urged the residents of the state to cooperate, work hand in glove with the team of “Homeowners’ Charter” and offer them the necessary information, not to be deterred by these unscrupulous elements and hijackers in order to fast track the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and do away with touts and fraudsters who hijacked the scheme for money making venture.