Many of us have probably being scammed by land grabbers who sale parcels of land under the guise of being the original owner.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on November 11, 2016 secured a conviction of Abdulmajid Abdulkareem before the Kano State High court. He was convicted on the grounds that he sold a plot of land with a fake Certificate of Occupancy for N5,750.000.00 on the 11th of September, 2013 to one Sagir Bashir Nasambo.
The EFCC also arraigned a group of frausters who swindled their client of N29,000,000 in the sale of two properties located in Gwarimpa, Abuja.
One needs to be careful when he/she wants to acquire landed properties. There are various things to look for when one wants to acquire these properties, and there are also legitimate ways to go about it, so as to avoid being swindled.
Ways To Avoid Being Scammed
First of all, one most apply due diligence. Thorough investigation should be carried out in order to ascertain the legitimacy of the land. Don’t be in a hurry to pay especially when it is too good to be true.
Secondly, avoid paying in cash. This is because, when you pay in cash, it will be difficult to trace the cash once it has been disbursed. Always request to pay through cheque, as it can be traced if something goes wrong eventually.
Thirdly, request that the survey plan be given by either the family or real-estate agent making the sell to you. The survey plan shows the beacon number, plan number, the name of the qualified surveyor, the year the land was surveyed with proof of lodgement of the red copy to the office of Survey-General.
Fourthly, another document you should request is the “Deed of Assignment or Conveyance.” This document traces the history of the land, how it has change ownership until the present owner. It must be duly signed and stamped by the parties involved and names of those parties must be included in the document.
Lastly, do pay for a land that you haven’t examined physically. It’s quite careless when people go ahead and make payments for lands that they have not physically seen. If you are out of the country, then you should entrust that task to a trusted friend or a family member.
Always endeavour to purchase landed properties through registered real-estate agents and once you have the slightest doubt, refrain from going ahead with the purchase, because many Nigerians have lost millions of Naira through land scam.
By: Nwoha Udochukwu