Residents of Pearl Garden Estate and Pearl Nuga Park Estate located at Sangotedo Village in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State have dragged Mr. Kelchi Mbagwu and his CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Company Limited to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged fraudulent mortgage of some of their homes to secure unapproved bank loans.
The magnitude of the alleged crime is still unknown but the association of homeowners in the estates have barred representatives of CMB from maintaining the homes at Pearl Nuga Park Estate and Pearl Garden Estate.
However, fresh allegations are beginning to emerge that other board members were involved in the sharp practices, and that the CEO, Mr. Mbagwu, did not operate in isolation. Attempts to reach Mr. Olorogun Kuku and Mr. Christopher Coker, both members of the board have been unsuccessful.
The separate petitions dated May 28, 2019, and addressed to the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu were signed by Mr. Patrick Olowokere, the President of Pearl Nuga Estate and Reverend Adesola Adebawo, President of Pearl Garden Estate respectively.
According to the petitioners, CMB obtained a mortgage from Wema Bank Plc using the affected homes at Pearl Nuga Estate as collateral without the knowledge or consent of the affected homeowners of the properties.
“The affected homeowners, namely: Bridget Eko, Osagie Aimiehnoho Jude, Mr Akinola Alabi, Mrs. Oluwadara Alabi, Nosakhare Igbinobi and Amos Gaga paid CMB for those houses to be built and had taken possession of their houses from CMB at different times.
“CMB and Mr. Mbagwu fraudulently withheld the title deeds of the houses from the affected homeowners as it withheld those of several other homeowners within the estate,” the petitioners alleged.
They said the bank had begun a recovery of the six houses within the estate following the failure of CMB, the property developer to repay the loan.
Similarly, Pearl Garden Estate also accused CMB of using the homes of four of their members – Mr. and Mrs. Michael Bassey, Mr. Oyeleke Jegede, Mr. Larry Amaraibi and one Mr. Felix, who had already paid in full to a fraudulently-obtained a N10 million loan from Diamond Bank (now Access Bank).
Panic among home owners in the estate is growing, and residents are resolute in their decision to keep CMB and its entire members of staff away from the estates.
The petitioners have said: “We have no other choice but to believe that other houses of our members and homeowners within the estates may be the subject of similar fraudulent mortgages.
A growing list of complaints by aggrieved customers who subscribed to fairly recent plans by the embattled firm has also surfaced.”
Another resident, Mr Akeredolu, had alleged, “Some of us have waited endlessly for the commencement of the ‘fictitious’ Pearl Royale Scheme, Pearl Garden Extension and Pearl Nuga Park. We paid for these in full since 2010 but are yet to be shown the location of our purchases, let alone the allocations.
He further added: “We know projects fail, but they are yet to make any official statement or promise of a refund. These people are so bold and fearless, one wonders who is backing them.”