Wednesday, 12 April 2017

HOW AN ESTATE SURVEYOR, OBANDE G. AGBESE, GOT HIMSELF ENTANGLED WITH A FRAUDSTER

ESV. Obande G. Agbese
Obande G. Agbese is a very hardworking and ambitious Lagos-based Estate Surveyor and Valuer that got a call from a foreign number about a property in Banana Island for sale that he advertised. According to him, the voice was that of an elderly woman. She asked for the details and asked him to send pictures of the property to her, which he excitedly did. She promised to call back. The woman later called back after two weeks.

He said: “Two weeks later she called me again and said that she would be in Nigeria in two weeks to see the place and pay for it. Sure she did. She looked every inch a wealthy person. I took her for the Inspection. After seeing some other properties, she settled for this waterfront masterpiece of an Architectural edifice. The price was close to a billion naira. She negotiated my fee to a bit less than N50m. The owner of the property also promised to pay me something substantial. I was excited. At long last, God don butter my bread. She collected the title papers, did the legal search. We prepared all the transfer papers. The deal was as good as concluded.”

According to Obande, he started walking with a new swagger as someone who would get a minimum of N50million in the new deal. His spoken English became more polished. He wrote better lexicons on Facebook. His writings were strictly for the highly educated. His lyrics flowed without inhibitions. He talked with more confidence and authority. He became more generous to himself and those around me. He even laughed more and nothing his wife said or did got on his nerves. He was all smiles most times. He had been waiting for the big break and here it comes. Obande thought that he had become too rich to do small jobs.

“One of my faithful long time clients called me to go for a valuation job in Abuja. I told him that I can't go, except he pays N150k into my account to cover my flight and accommodation. When I return, we would discuss the valuation fee. He was shocked. He offered to pay N100k. He reminded me that I won't need to sleep in Abuja since I could go by first flight and return by last flight same day. I refused to listen. He sent N120k into my account, I went to Abuja reluctantly. I told him that I only agreed to go because it was him. That I no longer do that kind of dog jobs. He was shocked. He knew that this was not the Obande he used to know. When he dug into why I have suddenly become near impossible, I told him point blank that I don't do small jobs any longer. I deal only on big jobs. I don't play in the small leagues no more. But for him I can condescend. But he needed to improve on what he was paying me. He apologized and promised to call me when he gets only big deals. He warned me to be careful. I didn't want to leave Lagos for even a second. What if the alert happens when I am out of town. I was the central figure in this deal. After all, if I get alert, na God win. Why I no go get alert when my name na Godwin?” he said.

Then, Obande started waiting for the big deal. “Then the stories started. It is the falling Naira against dollar. It is EFCC poking noses into all transactions in Nigeria. The stories continued unabated. I was not doing the small deals no more. The big one became tales by moonlight. Account was running dry. So many withdrawals and no deposit. I became disillusioned, always on the edge. I started being withdrawn, bitter and picking quarrels with everyone,” he said. “Then one day I got a message from this prospective buyer. She wanted me to lend her N1.5m. I was devastated. A billionaire asking for N1.5m? N1.5m kor, N900million ni'i. Bloody 419!”

Having discovered that he had wasted his precious time with a bloody fraudster, Obande had no option but to contact his long time client in Abuja to know if he could give him a deal. “I called my faithful client, he said I am a professional that he respects so much and trust absolutely. But he could no longer afford my services as I have become a Debonair. I told him that I have woken up from my daydream. I will now go to Abuja with even N50k as I can go by Road. I am even ready to go and do a valuation inspection in Sambisa forest for N200k. If my language has depreciated, please forgive me. It is because of the disappointment that I suffered. At the moment, I'm inside a bus heading for Warri for a consultancy job. Don't ask me why I didn't insist on flight ticket money. Na waa ooo. These fraudsters sef,” he said.