To curb the increasing incidence of fraud in real estate transactions, the Lagos State government has vowed to explore legal means to protect the interests of its citizenry from real estate swindlers and in seeking redress in cases of fraudulent transactions.
Speaking recently at the Lagos State Secretariat, while receiving some defrauded accommodation seekers from Alapere, Ketu area of the State, the Commissioner for Housing in Lagos State, Moruf Akinderu Fatai said that “the State government has declared war against fraudulent practitioners in the real estate sector”. According to him, “Lagos State Government is determined to “make Lagos a no- go area for unscrupulous individuals who prey on Lagosians under the guise of real estate business”.
Speaking earlier on behalf of the victims defrauded by one Tasleem Idowu Alabi, who allegedly collected rents to the tune of #65million from over 250 prospective tenants for only 15 units of accommodation, Aliyu Toyin expressed fears that the accused may not be brought to book while also seeking help with immediate refund of the rents paid.
In his response, Akinderu-Fatai, assured them that “justice would definitely be served to the fraudulent property developer who swindled them out of their hard earned money.”
Moruf Akinderu-Fatai said that the State government was aware of the issue and has instituted legal actions against the said developer on behalf of the victims.
He also encouraged members of the public to report dubious estate agents and developers to the office of Lagos State Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) at Block 7 in the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.
“I want to assure you that the state government under the leadership of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is very responsive and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the culprits are brought to book”, he stated.
The Commissioner in addition advised all the affected individuals to remain calm and be law abiding since the matter is already in the court of law.
Also during the visit, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry Housing, Mr. Wasiu Akewusola, urged Lagos residents seeking accommodation to always transact business with estate agents and developers that are registered with Lagos State Estate Real Transaction Department, (LASRETRAD) a directorate under the State Ministry of Housing.
He disclosed that the Directorate is saddled with the responsibility of registering, regulating and monitoring real estate operators across the state.
He appealed to the victims to maintain peace and order, while the State Government takes the necessary action on the matter.