An Ikeja Magistrate Court in Lagos State has adjourned a case of alleged impersonation and forgery against two fake land surveyors accused to have been fraudulently presenting themselves as registered surveyors and members of the Nigerian institution of Surveyors for further hearing.
This was just as the Association of Private Practising Surveyors of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch called the attention of the general public to numerous fake survey plans in circulation.
The accused persons – Moses Ayodele and Oluwatobi Ononuga – were arraigned by the police at an Ikeja Magistrate Court sitting in Ogudu of conspiring with others to commit felony to with impersonation and forgery, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
The suspects were also accused of forging a stamp and seal belonging to a deceased registered surveyor Victor Okolo, to prepare counterfeit survey plans to unsuspecting members of the public, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 365 subsection (1) of the criminal law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
Also, a petition signed by one Barrister Shamsideen Olaleye, who acted as solicitors to Gracias Property and Sylvia Property, claimed that Ayodele presented himself as a registered surveyor to their companies and they have had him on the list of the companies’ consultants as one of the registered surveyors.
According to the petition, Ayodele has in fact drawn many survey plans for many individuals who had purchased landed properties from the companies without any of them suspecting that the survey plans were fake.
On October 26, 2017, one Mrs. Winifred reported at the Police Divisional Headquarters, Ketu, Lagos State that the survey plan given to her by one of the surveyors of the companies was fake and subsequent upon this discovery, she invited the Association of Private Practising Surveyors of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch to intervene.
When contacted, the Chairman, Association of Private Practising Surveyors of Nigeria, Lagos State Branch, Surveyor Odetunmibi Olufemi, confirmed the case, saying: “The Association noted that the accused persons prepared the survey plan using the name of a late surveyor and have also been parading themselves as registered surveyors for quite some time before the long arms of the law finally caught up with them.
“The Association has shown interest in the matter.”
Odetunmibi, a fellow of the Nigeria Institution of Surveyors, also noted with grave concern the activities of quacks and unscrupulous elements parading themselves as land surveyors.
He ascribed the frequent and often successful attempt to swindle the public on the fact that people are always looking for ways to cut corners and to continuously engage quacks rather than professionals for their survey jobs.
This, according to him, is responsible for the numerous fake land surveys in circulation.
While urging the general public to develop a new mindset and make conscious efforts to report suspected cases of fake surveys appropriately whenever they come across any, Odetunmibi called on residents to be cautious and to ensure they always engage qualified and registered practitioners for their jobs.
Also speaking, the Branch Secretary of the Association, Surveyor Adedeji Olanrewaju, said when the Association got the report, “we immediately intervened.
“We are glad that the technical knowhow of Mr. Moses Akinsanya as a registered Surveyor has been put to test; the companies have been made to believe that Mr. Moses is a registered Surveyor all these years. We have it on record that he has his office address at No. 33 Yusuf Street, Araromi Bus Stop, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos and has been using the name of a late Surveyor to defraud unsuspecting clients and persons.”
Olanrewaju said if the nefarious activities of such impostors is not checked, then many innocent citizens, businessmen and women will fall victim of their fraudulent activities, just like both companies and the petitioner.