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Reverend lets non-existing house for N8.2m, lands in police net

Posted by By DIPO KEHINDE on 2007/09/29 | Views: 591 |

Reverend lets non-existing house for N8.2m, lands in police net


Detectives at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos, have held a Cleric, who was accused of masterminding a property scam by placing adverts in a magazine and collecting millions of naira from victims who got nothing for their money.

Detectives at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos, have held a Cleric, who was accused of masterminding a property scam by placing adverts in a magazine and collecting millions of naira from victims who got nothing for their money.

The suspect, who identified himself as Rev. Shola Salau, told Daily Sun that he collected N8.2 million from the victims, who wanted to rent a house after they saw the advert in the Castle Magazine, but could not refund the money when they found out that there was no house to let.

The Commissioner of Police in charge of SFU, Mr Olayinka Balogun, who is investigating Rev. Salau for obtaining money under false pretence, issuing dud cheque, and unlawfully possessing fake American dollars and stolen bank cheques, revealed that the suspect had placed an advert in the weekly magazine, stating that he had a duplex in the Ilupeju area and another inside Maryland Estate for rent.

The suspect allegedly collected from one of the victims N3.4 million, to cover two years rent for a house he showed the victim at Ilupeju. But the man, identified as Bamidele Fadahunsi, was shocked when those who actually own the house did not allow him to take possession.

Balogun said: "Fadahunsi demanded the refund of his money and Rev. Salau issued a Zenith Bank cheque marked 6011914774 to the tune of N11,760,000 which was dishonoured.
"Another complaint was received in this unit from one Samuel Alaba against the same suspect, that sometime in December 2006, he saw an advert in the same weekly magazine placed by the suspect that he had a property at Number 20, Alara Street, Onike, Sabo, Yaba for rent.

"The suspect collected the sum of N2,640,000 from Alaba under the pretext of renting the property to the complainant for a period of two years. When he was not allowed to take possession of the property, he demanded the refund of his money. The suspect, once again issue a bounced cheque."

Following these discoveries, the police executed a search warrant in the office and premises of Rev Salau, where 29 pieces of 100 American dollar bills, 40 pieces of various kinds of foreign bank cheques and some waybills belonging to UPS, all suspected to be fake, were found.
According to the police, the items were recovered from Rev Salauís office assistant, identified as Segun Ojajuni.

Rev Salau, who identified himself as a co-founder of Power Pentecostal Church and a member of Methodist Church, Iperu Remo, told reporters in an interview: "Thereís no business without problem. Iíve been in property business since I came back from England and Iíve been a UPS agent for 13 years. I had about six police officers working in my establishment until January this year. Iíve never had problem with members of the public.

"When I was arrested, I told the police that my company was owing N7 million altogether. I had collected at various times N2.6 million, N1.7 million and N3.9 million, totaling N8.2 million and I had made some refund.

"We were paid for some properties at Ilupeju. This business is on-going business. There wouldnít have been problem if the police didnít come in.
"At the time the people were asking for a refund, we had a financial problem. I would have sold one of my properties worth over N60 million to settle the problem."

On the dud cheque allegation, he said: "Itís true, I issued dud cheques. But you have to prove it in court that I did it with criminal intention. They couldnít get the houses because those who own them didnít accept the idea of parting with 10 per cent agent fees and 10 per cent legal fees."

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