After ICIR’s report, estate firm accused of N9.9m fraud agrees on refund with interest

BARELY two weeks after The ICIR’s report exposing a property company linked to the Lekki Gardens and how it allegedly defrauded one of its customers, the estate firm has finally agreed to a refund.

Besides the refund, the firm also promised to pay the sum with a 15 per cent interest on the original value.

The ICIR had earlier revealed how Zakari Uthman and his wife made a two-tranche payment of N5 million and N4.9 million, respectively, to an account number provided by the Paradise Estate. That was on September 17, 2018.

The payment was for constructing a three-bedroom Maisonette Duplex within the estate.

But since January 3, 2019, when the second tranche of payment was made to the firm, until the time of filing this report, both the property and the fund were yet to be delivered to the family.

On April 25, the Paradise Estate, in a letter jointly signed by Chinelo Nwakasi and Aisosa Sunny-Ekos, agreed to the repayment except for the 40 per cent interest earlier demanded by the complainant in a letter dated April 8.

“We have noted the demand in your letter that our company make a refund of money paid by your client with 40 per cent.

“We have reviewed your letter and wish to state that we may only be able to refund a 15 per cent interest. This position is predicated on the need to refrain from making commitments we may not be able to keep as well as appease our clients in view of future relationship,” the letter from Paradise Estate read.

“On the issue of VAT paid, we request that you assist us with relevant documents evidence of this payment to enable us to escalate same to our legal team appropriately.”

By April 28, the aggrieved family, through their lawyer, Mirror Attorneys, wrote to the managing director of the Paradise Estate demanding the 15 per cent interest on the N9.9 million, aside from the initial purchase price of N9.9 million.

    “That you refund our client with the sum of N495, 000 only, being the 5 per cent VAT on property and for which she got no value,” the request stated in part.

    On April 29, the letter titled ‘Re: Breach of contract regarding allocation of a unit of 3-bedroom Maisonette Duplex in Paradise Ville, Idu Sabu, Abuja, and Pre-Action Notice’, was acknowledged by the property firm.

    Paradise Estate is to make the payment within 21 days.

    UPDATE: See the update on this report HERE

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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