The former deputy governor of Lagos State, Sinatu Ojikutu, has confessed to having defrauded a land buyer of N130 million.
Sinatu Ojikutu, along with her son Samson have been declared wanted by the Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU) for being allegedly involved in a N130 million Lekki land scam.
The police in their statement declared that, after admitting the crime and refunding part of the money, the former deputy governor jumped bail.
According to a petition sent to the DIG ‘D’ Department to the Commissioner of Police, SFU, Mrs. Ojikutu and her son conspired and sold a parcel of land at Plot 24 Block 4 at Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos.
The unnamed buyer said that he deposited the N130 million into Mrs. Ojikutu’s Union Bank account in tranches. After payment, he requested for the title document of the land but was told that the original documents had been lost.
To back up her claim, the former deputy governor procured an affidavit, a police crime extract, and a publication in the Vanguard Newspaper of 18th October 2011, all purported evidence to the loss of the original documents.
“The petitioner believed her because of her personality as the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State,” the police said in the statement signed by Ngozi Isintume-Agu, the Police Public Relations Officer, SFU.
After the petitioner commenced development on the land and was on the verge of completion, the original owner of the land turned up and it was discovered that the land did not belong to the ex-deputy governor, the police said.
“She actually sold Plot 23 Block 4 while Plot 24 Block 4 already has a property on it,” the statement added.
Police said that investigations revealed that the land sold by Mrs. Ojikutu actually belonged to one Mr. Afolabi.
“It was also discovered that the Plot 24 Block 4, which actually belonged to late Samson Adebisi Ojikutu (Snr), the suspect’s husband who died in 2008 was sold by him in 1995 and the suspect was a life witness and appended her signature to the sale of the land,” the police said.
“The suspect further perpetrated the crime by alleging that the original C of O to the property was missing and swore and affidavit which enabled her obtain a Police Report and Memorandum of Loss.
“She also put up an advert in newspapers that the original C of O is lost whereas the original C of O is with Hallmark Homes, the buyer of the property,” the police added in their statement.
Jumped police bail
Mrs. Ojikutu, 67, served as deputy governor of Lagos State between 1992 and 1993 before the Sani Abacha led military coup truncated the democratic governance.
The police said that she connived with her son, Samson Adebisi Ojikutu, who is currently in the USA, to commit the fraud.
“She (Mrs. Ojikutu) admitted the crime but confessed that it was a genuine mistake of plot identification,” said the police.
“She refunded the sum of N50 million to the complainant and promised to refund the balance as soon as she disposed her two properties she put up for sale.
“She also confessed that she had injected the complainant’s money in her business.”
The police further stated that Mrs. Ojikutu also made an undertaking and a payment plan was drawn up from September 2012 to November 2012.
The former deputy governor defaulted to the plan due to lack of fund, according to the police.
“Police further discovered that the suspect is not willing to abide by the terms of repayment. She jumped police bail and has been elusive. Frantic efforts have been made to re-arrest her which proved abortive,” said the statement.
“The Nigeria Police, Special Fraud Unit hereby declares Alhaja Sinatu Aderoju Ojikutu wanted. Anybody with useful information regarding her where about should report to the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, 13 Milverton Road, Ikoyi.”
A retiree from Lagos Island, Mrs. Ojikutu made media headlines last April after a Lagos High Court ordered the state government to pay her all her retirement benefits and pension.
The Lagos State Government had stopped her entitlements after the House of Assembly enacted a law that stated that “a public office holder shall not be entitled to a grant of pension under this law if he was removed from office by the process of impeachment or for breach of any provision of the constitution.”