The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has descended on a 419 Real Estate Developer and recovered the sum of N53 billion for subscribers he duped through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
Chairman of the ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye who spoke during a meeting with the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee Investigating the Operations of Real Estate Developers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said that the developer took the money without providing houses for his subscribers.
He said that the Commission would continue to deploy its mandates against developers who take public funds with the promise to provide houses for public or civil servants without doing so.
Professor Owasanoye said that unscrupulous real estate developers in the FCT have taken advantage of desperate civil servants to own houses, as a result of acute housing deficit, to scam them of their hard-earned money in the name of housing projects.
He said that the Commission is desirous of partnering with the ad-hoc committee of the National Assembly to bring sanity to the housing sector because of its critical nature to the government.
He told the committee that one of the ways to tackle housing deficit and fraudulent real estate developers in the country is for government to completely deploy technology as well as grant easy access to information.
“The lack of openness is also creating problems. Government should at least put information in the public domain where people can easily verify details of land. A lot of people are scammed from fake layout, double allocations and others.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Blessing Onoh, observed that cases of developers defrauding would-be house owners is becoming rampant.
Onoh said that it is common for real estate developers to start projects, later abandon them and move on to other sites after collecting monies from subscribers.
She said that the committee was set up to proffer solutions to the anomalies and ensure that Nigerians who subscribe to housing projects end up owning them in accordance with the terms of agreement they entered.