Connect with us

Crime

Customer calls out Richard Nyong over alleged fraudulent activities

Published

on

Customer cries out after Richard Nyong’s Lekki Gardens robbed him of N9.9 million

Zakari Uthman and his wife Aishat stepped into the corporate office of Paradise Estate in Abuja on September 17, 2018, intending to own a home.

The couple had already visited one of the firm’s project sites in Idu Sabo, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, before their visit (FCT).

For many citizens, being a homeowner in the nation’s capital is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Advertisement

The couple had been paying expensive rents in a posh Abuja neighborhood for almost a decade. As a result, it’s only natural to desire to stop paying rent. They resolved to buy the property using the wife’s name, Aishat Olajumoke Balogun.

On September 17, 2018, the couple paid an N5 million down payment on a three-bedroom Maisonette Duplex in the Paradise Estate.

The total cost of the project was N9.9 million. Following that, they received an offer letter to that effect.

The couple made the second tranche payment of N4.9 million four months later, on January 3, 2019.

These payments brought the overall project expense to a close. The project’s original deadline was set for December 31, 2019, but it was later pushed back. In the last three years, the deadline has been moved more than five times. The couple has yet to get their property as of the time of filing this report.

Advertisement

“…We have not only lost money that could have accrued on the mutual funds we liquidated at 12 percent to quickly pay off the initial money but also took a facility at 27 percent to complete the payment with the hope that by the end of 2019, we will no longer have to pay rent,” Balogun said.

On Friday, March 11, a video emerged of disgruntled clients storming the firm’s headquarters to protest irregularities with their land titles.

“Give us our money…we will make sure the world hears our cries. We don’t have money but we will continue to make noise for the world to know…they are 419ers.”

Also, four years earlier, in August 2018, the Association of House Owners and Residents (AHOAR), led by Samson Oche, held a similar protest against the same property firm owned by Lekki Homes. This time, the house owners protested over poor job delivery and non-issuance of house titles, among other concerns.

Some inscriptions read: “where is our title document Richard, we are tired of your deceits,” “Our roofs are giving way with the slightest rainstorm.”

Advertisement

“We have been promised for three weeks from the date of handover of our units to receive our title documents but three years down the lane, it’s been stories upon stories,” Oche said.

Among the protesters was Ogbugo Ukoha. He had lived on the estate for more than a year at the time of the demonstration, but he was more concerned about the land title. He informed the Nigerian News Agency that although the property was engulfed in litigation, it continued to sell.

He claimed that although the Federal High Court in Abuja had previously ruled in favour of a third party, the Paradise Estate continued to sell to uninformed members of the public.

“The developer sold the property to everyone off-plan…surprisingly, after having paid, we discovered that they have been in court for the last, probably, five years during which he was selling and still assuring the owner of the place.

“By February, the FCT High Court gave a judgment against paradise having gotten this land through a third party, which means those of us who bought have been deceived into buying an asset we don’t own.”

Advertisement

According to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Ukoha is an Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage, and Retailing Infrastructure (NMDPRA). However, he could not be reached at the time of reporting this article to inquire about whether some of the concerns had been addressed.

This reporter attempted to visit his office at the NMDPRA on Friday, April 8 but was denied admittance.

ALSO READ  Ogun Police Arrest 43-year-old man for Setting Ex-Lover’s Apartment Ablaze

Meanwhile, the disgruntled couple’s full payment should have resulted in timely project delivery, but Paradise Estate has consistently missed its delivery deadlines.

Aside from the original deadline of December 31, 2019, the firm pushed out the deadline to January 3, 2020, citing factors such as the cost of construction supplies.

Later, Zakari and his wife Aisha met with Blessing Nyong-Essien, the firm’s Managing Director, as well as another top official identified as Taofeek, a doctor. The couple was promised that the project will be completed by March 31, 2020, with the infrastructure completed by May 31, 2020.

Advertisement

After the meeting, they were so satisfied with the degree of assurance that they paid the project’s Value Added Tax (VAT) of N495, 000 to the Federal Government and informed the landlord of their plan to depart their present building when the lease expired in May 2020. But it all came to a halt.

When the company failed to reach an earlier deadline, a new delivery date was established for July 2020. November 12, 2020, December 31, 2020, and February 28, 2021, have all been added to the schedule.

This meant that three years after making the payment, the couple had yet to get the keys to the entire building.

“In the offer letter we were issued on September 14, 2018, it stated that our property will be delivered to us within 12 months which had elapsed by December 31, 2019, going by the payment dates,” a furious Aishat Balogun said.

“We visited the site on January 1, 2020, to ascertain the level of completion because the company lines [phone] were not going through, and we were disappointed with the state of progress.”

Advertisement

They wanted a refund at this point because the company had continually broken its agreements.

Aishat contacted a well-known social media influencer who had been hired to help promote the real estate project from the start.

When the influencer urged the complainant to use whatever legal measures were required to get her project delivered or seek a refund, the complainant was taken aback.

“Based on the contract of sales, the house is to be delivered 12 months with a three-month grace period or four months in cases of force majeure. All these, I have graciously given. Then according to the contract, the buyer has the right to terminate the contract after two months of non-delivery and you guys would have eight months to pay me,” she wrote in a letter to the firm dated Monday, September 6, 2021.

“Even if I add all of these together, you have all grossly defaulted on all grounds,” she added.

Advertisement

On September 8, 2021, Eniola Olaoye, an official from the Client Services Unit responded to the mail announcing her allocation.

“Kindly find the attached letter with respect to the delivery of your allocated unit M3C Unit 1, Paradise Ville, Idu Sabo.”

Paradise Estate Limited’s last post on the social media platform (Facebook), as of the time of filing this report was on April 25, 2018.

Who is behind Paradise Estate, Abuja?

Lekki Gardens, a leading real estate corporation based in Lagos, Nigeria, created the Paradise Estate in Abuja.

Advertisement

When it arrived in Abuja in August 2015, the goal was to produce 100,000 housing units by 2018 and one million by 2023. It’s unclear whether this objective was met.

Blessing Nyong Essien’s LinkedIn page indicates that she is the MD of the Paradise Estate, which is owned by Life Camp Paradise Estate. She’s also a signatory on the business’s bank account.

An attempt to determine who the true owners and shareholders of the Life Camp Paradise Estate were revealed to be incongruous with the company’s name.

For example, the name on Aishat’s payment paperwork – The Life Camp Paradise Limited – differed from the name on the letterhead holding the official allocation of a three-bedroom duplex to the complaint – The Paradise Abuja.

Furthermore, the provisional allocation signed by Nyong-Essien and Motunrayo Oloruntoba was on behalf of Paradise Estate Limited, which is not the same as the name on the letterhead.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  Navy halts theft of petrol at NNPCL’s vandalised pipeline in Lagos

A public search of the name Paradise Estate Limited turned up a firm registered at 15, Erie Street, Off Sakonba Road, Benin City, on June 26, 2002, with registration number 455426. Arigbe Ebuwa and Ibude Osazee are the only two directors.

The Life Camp Paradise Limited was the subject of a similar search. It was registered on May 6, 2016, with two people – Imeh Christiana Amida and Stella-Marie Omogbai – as directors and shareholders, according to the findings.

In 2015, Amida announced the launch of the Paradise Estate in Abuja as the Chief Operating Officer of Lekki Gardens.

She said, “The Paradise is a new lifestyle community conceived to provide Abuja’s growing upwardly mobile middle class the rare privilege of owning choice homes at extremely low prices just like we have done in Lagos and Port Harcourt.

Amida further explained that the new project was necessitated by the demand for the Lekki Gardens debut project – Games Paradise –, which sold out barely one month after it was launched, The Guardian reported.

Advertisement

Findings based on information gathered from multiple sources showed the Lekki Gardens Estate Limited referenced by Amida is owned by multiple directors – which includes Richard Nyong, Olusola Nyong, Hon. Gbenga O., Engr. Kemi A. and Christiana Amida M.

Richard in an interview with City People, a lifestyle platform was described as “the chairman of The Paradise, Abuja”.

Nyong-Essien manages the Paradise Estate introduced in Abuja in 2015 and there is a likelihood that the three persons are related based on our findings.

Richard is linked to five other firms – Lekki Springs Limited, Get Too Rich Investment Limited, Lekki Gardens Facility Management Limited, Lekki Gardens Emporium Limited, and Lekki Gardens Horizons Limited.

His fellow director, Olusola, has interests in about seven others. They include Get Too Rich Investment Limited, Lekki Gardens Facility Management Limited, Lekki Gardens Emporium Limited, Lekki Gardens Horizons Limited, Lekki Palms Limited, Lekki Springs Limited, Lekki Gardens Horizon Limited, and Lekki Gardens Estate limited.

Advertisement

Paradise Estate firm reacts
When contacted, Paradise Estate’s client service officer, who had done repeated mail exchanges with the aggrieved couple, Eniola Olaoye, did not respond to calls and a text message sent to her phone number.

Nyong-Essien, the authorised signatory in the entire deal, neither answered nor returned calls. This reporter further sent a text message but there was no response.

When a call was put through to her second line, a lady identified as Tosin answered but terminated it when she heard the questions. This reporter later called back but she advised The ICIR to visit the office.

Tosin, who later introduced herself as a personal assistant to Nyong-Essien, was asked to book an appointment since her MD had gone incommunicado. She was briefed about the purpose of the meeting, including the allegation that the firm was fraudulent. But she has not responded to date.

She said, “The Paradise is a new lifestyle community conceived to provide Abuja’s growing upwardly mobile middle class the rare privilege of owning choice homes at extremely low prices just like we have done in Lagos and Port Harcourt.

Advertisement

Amida further explained that the new project was necessitated by the demand for the Lekki Gardens debut project – Games Paradise –, which sold out barely one month after it was launched, The Guardian reported.

Findings based on information gathered from multiple sources showed the Lekki Gardens Estate Limited referenced by Amida is owned by multiple directors – which includes Richard Nyong, Olusola Nyong, Hon. Gbenga O., Engr. Kemi A. and Christiana Amida M.

Richard in an interview with City People, a lifestyle platform was described as “the chairman of The Paradise, Abuja”.

Nyong-Essien manages the Paradise Estate introduced in Abuja in 2015 and there is a likelihood that the three persons are related based on our findings.

Richard is linked to five other firms – Lekki Springs Limited, Get Too Rich Investment Limited, Lekki Gardens Facility Management Limited, Lekki Gardens Emporium Limited, and Lekki Gardens Horizons Limited.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  Union Bank keeps mum as EFCC arraigns employee over fraud (Photos)

His fellow director, Olusola, has interests in about seven others. They include Get Too Rich Investment Limited, Lekki Gardens Facility Management Limited, Lekki Gardens Emporium Limited, Lekki Gardens Horizons Limited, Lekki Palms Limited, Lekki Springs Limited, Lekki Gardens Horizon Limited, and Lekki Gardens Estate limited.

Meanwhile, Aisha Ahmed, the account officer that earlier introduced Aishat Balogun to the Paradise Estate, simply attributed the situation to ‘force majeure.’

Force majeure in business is a situation where a force of nature or unforeseen circumstances prevent someone or a party from fulfilling his or her part of an agreement. It is usually a clause mostly embedded in contract agreements.

“Her house is ready,” Ahmed stated when asked when the property would be handed over.

“It is just for them to work on the infrastructure. In fact, an email has been sent to her and other affected persons.”

Advertisement

This reporter reminded her that despite repeated emails previously sent to the subscribers including Balogun, the company still reneged on its agreements.

She was also reminded of the need to provide a more specific date this time. But she placed the call on hold and never picked up until the reporter terminated it. Subsequent calls were ignored.

Aisosa S. Sunny-Ekos is the head of Legal Services Department in Lekki Gardens. His official email is aisosa@lekkigardens.com. He also spoke officially with respect to the controversial property meant to be delivered by the Paradise Estate, Abuja. He also faulted Ahmed’s earlier claim of force majeure when The ICIR spoke with him on a phone call on Wednesday, March 17.

“That is not true,” he said.

Meanwhile, earlier, on Thursday On March 11, 2021, the lawyer replied to the email trail reaffirming the organisation’s commitment to delivering the building through his official email aisosa@lekkigardens.com.

Advertisement

“Yes, I am in copy of the email trail and I believe that the commitment of our client’s service team shall be duly complied with,” he wrote in part.

“We appreciate your patience thus far in this transaction and yet appeal for some more patience to enable us to conclude on the pending infrastructure works.”

But more than a year after the response, the aggrieved couple was yet to get their building delivered.

The email trail links Paradise Estate to Lekki Gardens – much like it is being fully managed by Lekki Gardens company.

Aishat Balogun also confirmed to this newspaper about a meeting held with Nyong-Essien in October 2019.

Advertisement

“I met with Richard personally at Karimo Estate close to ours and, he assured me Blessing (Nyong-Essien) was capable,” she added.

He confirmed the deal, describing it as a peculiar case. But, he would not provide further detailed information.

“I am conversant with her transaction. The letter from her lawyer is currently on my table. She subscribed for a three-bedroom,” he told this reporter, but he could not still establish exactly when the house would be delivered. This was after about one hour of back and forth conversation in an attempt to verify the claims and exact owners of the firm.

Finally, on Saturday, March 19, the complainant reached out to The ICIR to announce the estate had eventually agreed to refund the money (N9.9 million paid for the structure). But this time, the firm contacted the husband, Zakari.

The email, with the subject ’90 days paradise refund’ had an attachment of a refund application form.

Advertisement

The form’s content read with five conditions, among which was that the “refund repayment timeline is over a 90-day period.” Besides, it added, “interest is not payable on a refund.”

But the family kicked. “It’s so unfair collecting N9.9m after 40 months,” Balogun frowned.

“I want a property or the current value of the said property as of today. That is our position.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Crime

NDLEA declares India-based Nigerian couple wanted, arrests four cartel members

Published

on

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has declared a couple, Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade and Rashidat Ayinke Owoalade, wanted for running a cocaine cartel from India.

This follows the arrest of four members of the syndicate in Lagos, where a Sports Utility Vehicle was recovered and two houses traced to them were sealed for forfeiture to the Federal Government.

This was made known in a statement signed by the agency’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, and shared on its website on Sunday.

The statement read, “A couple, Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade (alias Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun) and Rashidat Ayinke Owoalade (alias Bolarinwa Rashidat Ayinke), who runs a cocaine cartel from India has been declared wanted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency following the arrest of four members of the syndicate in Lagos where a Sports Utility Vehicle was recovered and two houses already traced to them sealed for forfeiture to the Federal Government.

Advertisement

“Two members of the syndicate: Imran Taofeek Olalekan and Ishola Isiaka Olalekan were arrested on April 3, 2024 following their bid to export 3.40kg cocaine on a Qatar Airlines flight going to Oman through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja Lagos.

“While Imran was the courier conveying the drug consignment to Oman, Ishola recruited him for the head of the cartel, which investigation has now revealed to be Alhaji Kazeem Omogoriola Owoalade whose Indian residence permit bears Abdul Qassim Adisa Balogun based in India.

“Efforts to dismantle his network in Nigeria paid off after five weeks of surveillance and follow up operations when another member of the syndicate, Hamed Abimbola Saheed, who works directly with the baron was arrested on Tuesday 14th May at Abule Egba area of Lagos. It was indeed Saheed who lodged Imran in a hotel a day before his aborted trip to Oman and equally dropped him and Ishola at the Lagos airport the day they were arrested.”

ALSO READ  Finally, Notorious Wanted Kidnap Kingpin Nabbed 5 Years After Manhunt

During a search of Hamed’s house, NDLEA operatives were said to have recovered some phenacetine, a cutting agent for Cocaine, weighing 900 grams.

He was said to have confessed that the recovered substance was what was left of the consignment Imran was taking to Oman the day he was arrested.

Advertisement

His arrest led to a follow up operation at the home of the Owoalade couple at 20, Eyiaro Street, Ogudu Orioke, Lagos where another suspect was arrested and a new model Toyota RAV4 SUV marked FKJ-773 JJ belonging to Rashidat and additional 400 grams of Cocaine recovered in addition to already prepared suitcases to be used for illicit drug concealment, digital weighing scales and other paraphernalia.

NDLEA officers also intercepted two parcels at a courier firm in Lagos on May 15.

The parcels contained cocaine (587g) hidden in steel bolts bound for China and amphetamine concealed in vape pens and shea butter heading to the UK.

The statement added that an attempt to export 3.6kg of cannabis (loud strain) hidden in 36 water flasks to Dubai was foiled at a logistics company in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on May 16.

The owner of the consignment, Emeka Nwadiaro (aka Mega), was arrested in Onitsha, Anambra State, on the same day following a swift follow-up operation.

Advertisement

The statement added, “While NDLEA operatives in Lagos intercepted a Mercedes Benz bus loaded with 840kg cannabis and arrested the driver, Samuel Henry, at Olojo in Ojo LGA, Lagos, another suspect, Lawal Adam was nabbed along Otukpo road, Aliade, Benue state on Friday 17th May with 75,000 pills of opioids including tramadol and exol-5. Two suspects: Olisa Etisi, 32, and Jonathan Umeh, 25, were arrested along Owerri – Onitsha road, Imo state following the discovery by NDLEA operatives of a big gas cyclinder used to conceal six blocks of Loud, a strain of cannabis weighing 3.85kg.

ALSO READ  FirstBank issues an official statement in response to FG's forgery allegations

“In Borno State, 70-year-old Adamu Mohammed was arrested at Mbulamel, Biu LGA on Thursday, 16th May with 2kg cannabis and 33.55grams of diazepam, while Gaddafi Sani, 27, was arrested with 30 kilograms of cannabis along Abuja-Kaduna road, Kaduna.”

NDLEA officers in Yobe State seized a large consignment of drugs from a petrol tanker on the Potiskum-Damaturu Road.

The drugs, which included 91.1kg of opioids and 13kg of cannabis, were hidden in secret compartments and were heading for Maiduguri, Borno State.

The driver, Ismaila Ali, was arrested in connection with the discovery.

Advertisement

NDLEA officers also arrested four suspects in connection with the seizure of 2,025 pieces of improvised explosive devices (IED) materials in Niger State.

Two suspects, Abdulrauf Shitu Adeyemi and Asmiyu Rahim, were arrested on the spot, while Husaini Abdullahi and Nazifi Abdullahi were arrested in Sokoto and Kano respectively, following a follow-up operation.

The suspects and the explosive materials have been transferred to the appropriate security agency for further investigation. In a separate operation, Muhammad Lawal was arrested in Katsina state with 1,000 ampoules of Pentazocine injection.

A total of 105kg cannabis was on Friday, May 17, recovered from a house at Obola community, Owan West LG, Edo State, and a suspect, Gloria Oris, arrested when NDLEA officers raided the area.

In Kwara State, two suspects: Abdulganiyu Karaman, 55, and Sunday Abel, 37, were on Saturday 18th May arrested with 83kg cannabis and tramadol at Boriya, Baruten LGA, and Offa respectively.

Advertisement

NDLEA officers also recovered 105kg of cannabis from a house in the Obola community, Edo state, and arrested a suspect, Gloria Oris, on May 17th. Additionally, two suspects, Abdulganiyu Karaman and Sunday Abel, were arrested in Kwara State on May 18, with 83kg of cannabis and tramadol.

ALSO READ  85-year-old grandpa bags life jail for killing wife

Continue Reading

Crime

NURTW member, two others jailed for drug trafficking

Published

on

A 45-year-old driver and member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Tapha Mustapha, and two others, were on Thursday convicted and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for trafficking hard drugs.

Other convicts sentenced alongside the NURTW member are Andrew Ukelere and Anthony Chiemerem.

The three convicts were earlier arraigned before the court by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, on April 27, 2024, on charges bordering on conspiracy, trafficking in 13.9 kilograms of tramadol and 590 litres of Pentazocine, a psychotropic drug similar to cocaine.

During their arraignment, the prosecutor, Mariam I. Erondu, who was represented by Julian Negedu, told the court that the convicts were arrested with the drugs on March 19, 2024, on the Long Bridge area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos State.

Advertisement

According to the prosecutor, the offences committed contravened Sections 11(b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Cap N 30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and are punishable under the same Act.

The trio, however, pleaded guilty to the charges.

Following their guilty plea, Justice Kehinde Ogundare, adjourned the matter to Thursday for a review of facts and sentence, and then ordered that they be remanded at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre.

At the resumed hearing of the matter for review of facts, the prosecutor called Mr Benjamin Naetah, a Senior Exhibits Keeper with the agency, who tendered the drugs and other exhibits, which were admitted by the court.

Upon the conclusion of the review of facts, the prosecutor urged the court to convict and sentence the trio in accordance with the sections of the NDLEA Act that they were charged with.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  Navy halts theft of petrol at NNPCL’s vandalised pipeline in Lagos

But the convicts’ lawyers, Lilian Omotunde and Ore-Ofe Ogunleye, in their plea for mercy, urged the court to award a non-custodian sentence on their clients, being first-time convicts and for not wasting the time of the court.

Omotunde, who is the counsel for the first and second convicts, said: “The first convict is a first-time offender; he is a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers. He was contracted by the roadside to deliver a good after Lagos State, but he was caught up by the law.

“The second convict is a 35-year-old medicine store attendant, who was sent on an errand by his master.

“I urge the court to award a non-custodian sentence,” she said.

Also, counsel for the third convict, Ogunleye, urged the court to award a non-custodian sentence to her client.

Advertisement

She particularly cited Section 426(2) paragraphs a, b, d and e of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

Responding to the counsel’s submissions, the prosecutor, Erondu, who also cited Section 311 of ACJA, urged the court to consider the commercial quantity of the prohibited drug seized from the convicts and the damage it would have done to the country.

In his judgment, Justice Ogundare sentenced the first and second convicts to two years imprisonment, while the third convict was sentenced to a year imprisonment.

The judge however ordered both the first and second convicts to pay the sum of N500,000 each, and the third convict to pay the sum of N100,000, in lieu of the jail term.

ALSO READ  FirstBank issues an official statement in response to FG's forgery allegations

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Crime

NAFDAC arrests five for allegedly selling fake cosmetics in Abuja

Published

on

The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Wednesday in Abuja arrested five persons for selling counterfeit cosmetics.

Theheute reports that the arrest was made at the Garki and Wuse axis, during an enforcement to curb the sales of substandard goods.

Speaking with newsmen after the enforcement, Mr Embugushiki-Musa Godiya, NAFDAC Head of Investigation and Enforcement, Federal Taskforce, said that the arrested persons would be investigated.

Godiya said that NAFDAC would work to ensure that fake cosmetics and other counterfeit products were completely wiped out of the country.

Advertisement

He said that the agency had been investigating some of these counterfeit cosmetics, following intelligence reports. He added that some of these products were illegally imported into the country, in spite of security at the border.

“NAFDAC is present in all the ports of entry of the country, but with the nature of our borders, these smugglers will always find a way to beat the system that the government has put in place.

“That is why if they escape from the port or borders, we go to the market and to all the places, gather intelligence reports, go after them and confiscate these products for possible prosecution,” Godiya said.

He said that the market value of the seized cosmetics was N35 million, adding that NAFDAC would continue investigation into the issue, to unravel the level of involvement of the suspects.

Godiya said that after investigation, the management of the agency may prosecute those suspects for the crime committed.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  FirstBank issues an official statement in response to FG's forgery allegations

He called on Nigerians to collaborate with NAFDAC to fight counterfeit products in the country.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 TheHeute.