Given the successive government’s quest for citizens’ shelter, the role of real estate development in a multidisciplinary approach to evolving sustainable community development in the Nigeria system cannot be overemphasized.
In Lagos state for instance, former governor Lateef Kayode Jakande’s housing legacies, have been a model for subsequent governors to emulate.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has, through numerous initiatives, keyed into this developmental pathway.
He recognizes access to shelter as one of the basic human needs for survival which has direct bearing on the pattern of development of communities.
However, the emerging stories of double dealings, twisted plans and buccaneered tendencies amongst players in the real estate sector with a somewhat active government’s connivance, are scary not only to intending investors but to other stakeholders.
Murphy Adebare, the chief executive officer of Millencoat Investment Property, had conceptualized an initiative to enhance the development of communities in a manner that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable over the stretch of months. He evaluated all aspects of real estate development within the cocoon of housing projects to stimulate development in various local communities involving the development of properties for the purpose of public housing, health centers, markets and hospitality, among others.
His operational modalities and the requirements for land delivery in both formal and informal land markets in the state led him to Sango Tedo, a surburb in the Lekki area of Lagos where the Baale of the community, Alhaji Rafiu Lawal Ajakaye with Alhaji Sulaimon Major, Alhaji Teslim Adewale and Alhaji Tasian Adisa Okeowo, secretary signed a land deal with Millencoat Investment Property. Baale Lawal Ajakaye is the village head.
Others are principal members of the Sango Tedo community in the Sango Tedo town of Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State according to a document cited by OpenLife.
In the land deal, “All that parcel of land that is up to 10 acres, situate, lying on and being at Sango Tedo town, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State” was ceded to Murphy’s Millencoat after effecting all the required payments.
According to information available to OpenLife, that was the end of the good story in an effort to deliver the social and economic housing benefits to the community.
To his amazement, Mr. Jide Durojaiye, Chairman-Chief Executive Officer, Legrande Properties Development Company, appeared on the scene in January 2020 with claims of ownership of the said 10-acre land. Durojaiye of Alexander Court Estate, explained to Murphy’s engineers he met on site that he obtained relevant documents from Lagos State government. He added that he paid N300 million to Lagos State government to possess the land for housing development.
In his narrative, Durojaiye said “I am a pastor of faith. A real estate developer for 15 years. I am in 3rd partnership with government. I applied August 2019 on a Public Private Partnership, PPP . We were given part of scheme in Sango Tedo. We paid N300 million to Lagos government. We were given two years to complete and we were mobilizing to site when Murphy Adejare began to threaten us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the dual claim to the said land has stagnated its development.
To Murphy Adebare, who said he acquired the land about 10 years ago, nothing could be so discouraging than an attempt to contribute to an important aspect of human need.
Even as the case has received Police interventions, Murphy calls on government and stakeholders for justice.
A source close to him says “All that Murphy Adebare, the Chief Executive of Millencoat Investment Property wants is justice. He owns the land. He validly and legitimately acquired the land from the traditional owners in Sango Tedo.”