by Oge Okonkwo
A landlord, Ishola Salawudeen was arrested yesterday, November 6 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the defrauding of a least prospective tenants of N37 million.
Alhaji Salawudeen was taken away by the anti-graft agency immediately after a court sitting at Ebute Metta Magistrate’s Court.
At the resumed hearing of the case, it was discovered that apart from the prospective tenants at 89, Oriola Street in Alapere Ketu whom he had allegedly duped, the accused was also facing similar charges at Lowa Street, Ikorodu on the platform of Shotex Construction Investment, his company, through which he had reportedly collected money fraudulently from 33 tenants under the pretext of giving them accommodation.
Vanguard Newspapers reports:
The court was also told that the case of the defendant with the 33 tenants has been going on for two years now.
Salawudeen, who is standing trial before Magistrate Dami Ajayi, of Court 5, was also said to be having a similar case in court 10 at Ebutte Metta.
It was gathered that the defendant had issued various receipts to the tenants through Segun Afolabi who was his secretary and receiver of the rents paid.
Magistrate Ajayi noted that it was a serious case that had to be dealt with and that she will see to it that justice is done that the matter will not be swept under the carpet.
She, however, stated that what matters most to the tenants is how they will retrieve their money, so it will be better for the defendant to discuss with them if they would like to settle out of court.
The counsel to the 33 prospective tenants whom he defrauded in 2011, Johnson Onyeji told the court that the defendant defrauded the new prospective tenants, just like he did to tenants in his Alapere building.
According to him the case was reported at Ogudu Police and was transferred to Panti Police Station and from where it was charged to Ebute Metta Magistrate’s court.
Ajayi, told the defendant’s counsel, Oladele that he would have met with the tenants to know if they want to settle out of court yesterday when the case came up before the court.
Oladele said he was not prepared for the case because the defendant travelled out of the country, to Mecca.
The Magistrate said if no agreement is reached, after both parties have met, then they should appear before the court on the 23 of December.
She said: “From findings today, there are two cases against Alhaji in Court 10 and Court 5, and also Alhaji wants to settle few out of the hundred of people he defrauded.”
The over 100 tenants’ representative, Moses Ezeigbo said they do not want to settle out of court, that the defendant should pay their money completely.
Ebute Metta Magistrate’s Court.