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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

In Anambra, Man Sells Neighbor’s Land, Uses Proceeds to Roof His House


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

A middle-aged man identified as Kachi Raluchukwu, is currently in the police net for intentionally conniving with a friend to sell a land belonging to one of his community members. The incident happened at Nibo, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, where the prime suspect was said to have invited his accomplice to disguise as the genuine owner of the Land.

It was gathered that the issue started after a member of the community, Mrs. Ogechukwu Mbonu, whom Raluchukwu told that he was a land agent, commissioned him to get a half plot for her to buy, with the intent of patronizing him as a realtor.

Howbeit, Raluchukwu contacted her two days later, informing her that he had found a land for her to buy. The land, which rightly belongs to one Mr. Ebede Uchenna Frank (also from Nibo) was eventually sold to Mrs. Mbonu to the tune of one million, five hundred thousand naira (N1.5m), in connivance with one Okwudili Akurienne who faked to be the authentic owner of the land.

It was further gathered that the buyer of the land, whose mother died barely a month after the transaction, buried her in the land, which eventually made the rightful owner of the land to sense that he seemed to have been dispossessed of his land.

The prime suspect, Rapuluchukwu, was, however, eventually captured by the operatives of the Zone 13 Ukpo, after he and his accomplice had turned down several invitations from police.

Speaking with newsmen at the Zonal Headquarters on Monday, the suspect, who confessed to the crime, said the incident happened in February, 2023, noting that he intentionally connived with his accomplice to sell the land. While noting that his accomplice, Okwudili is currently on the run, he added that he himself was arrested at his house by officers of the Zone.

According to him, it was after the buyer of the land told him that she needed a land to buy that he connived with his friend to mastermind the illegal deal, having known that the rightful owner of the land does not reside in the village.

Rapuluchukwu Kachi, who claimed he was a realtor, said he shared the N1.5m proceeds from the land deal with his accomplice, noting that he took N1,000,000, while Okwudili and the POS agent with whom they transacted the deal got N400,000 and N100,000 respectively.

When asked what motivated him into the act and what he did with the money, Mr. Rapuluchukwu, who claimed that it was a mistake, further explained that he used his own share of the money to buy ceilings to roof his house.

He however explained that since the deal backfired, he had been making efforts to repay the money, noting that he had provided the sum of N300,000 so far, while also pleading for mercy.

In an interview with newsmen, the rightful owner of the land, Mr. Frank who is a Lagos-based ICT expert said he only got to know about the incident when he travelled to village to build on the land, only to discover that there was a grave thereon.

“I was surprised to see a new grave in my land when I got there, which made me to begin wondering if government converted my land to a cemetery without my notice. In fact, I thought about many things, because I didn’t initially know what happened.

“It was as a result these that I petitioned the AIG. And, it was through the investigations conducted that we got to know what transpired while the police also got one of the suspects arrested, after they had turned down many invitations,” he narrated.

Mr. Frank, who is a one-time House of Assembly aspirant, recalled that he was the person who intervened and provided the casket for the burial of the father to one of the suspects (Okwudili) few years back, as well as cleared all the arrears he owed the church and pleaded with the church, before he was eventually buried at the church’s cemetery, as they had sold out all their lands, to the extent that there was no single portion where their father could be buried, which made his corpse lie on the ground for hours before he intervened.

He, however, lamented that the only appreciation he got in return from Okwudili was his connivance to illegally sell his land.

While noting that he came home to build on the land before the whole drama began to unfold, Mr. Frank insisted that there was no going back on his plan to develop the land, while also maintaining the the corpse buried on the land should be exhumed for him to retake possession of his land.

He, however, declined to say whether or not he would accept any alternative offer from the buyer of the land, since her mother’s corpse had already been buried there.

On her own part, the buyer of the land, Mrs. Mbonu, said she genuinely bought the land, unknowingly to her that it was a staged and fraudulent deal by the boys.

She explained that she bought the land out of need and with an intention to support and patronize Rapuluchukwu after he told her he was a land agent.

“After discussing with him on the 13th of February, I told him to find like a half plot of land for men; and then, on the 15th of February, he called me back and told me that he had seen a half plot,” she said.

Mrs. Mbonu further explained that her mother did not have a male child, hence she bought the land on her mother’s behalf. She said documents were signed to authentic the land deal, while she also provided money for goats as is customarily expected of anyone who buys land.

She, however, narrated that her mother died in March, while she buried her on the land on May 26, only for her to start getting complains weeks after, that the place where she buried her mother was someone else’s land.

“As my brother, I gave Rapuluchukwu additional N50,000 to support and appreciate him the time I bought that land, even when I knew he would also get his own commission from the money I paid, as an agent. I trusted him so much, and did for him everything that a sister could do for a brother. I never believed he could do this kind of thing to me. But see what I’m getting in return from him, after everything,” she emotionality lamented.

Commenting on the incident, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 13, AIG Tony Olufo, who spoke through the Zonal Police Public Relations Officer, SP Ihunwo Josephine K., decried the rate of land-related cases and illegal sale of land in the society today, noting that a greater percentage of the cases they treat in the Zone borders on land.

While commending the officer handling the current matter, SP Ben Eke, for his professionalism, the ZPRO assured that the suspect would be charged to court, to serve as deterrent to others indulging in such illegal acts. She also revealed that efforts are on the top gear to apprehend the other fleeing suspect, Okwudili and also bring him to book.

“They must learn their lessons,” she said.

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