Olaitan Odetunde, a 60-year-old businesswoman has accused the First Baptist Church, Kosofe parish of swindling N400,000 out of her after promising to give her two parcels of land.
Concise News learnt that Odetunde said she trusted the transaction and parted with the money because she thought she was dealing with godly people.
She lamented that 11 years after she paid the money to the church, she had yet to get the two parcels of land, adding that the church’s pastors, elders and members of the land committee had been avoiding her.
The 60-year-old told PUNCH Metro that efforts to get the land or her money back had proved abortive.
She said, “A woman who is a member of the church introduced me to the land scheme in 2008, and I told her that I was interested. She introduced me to someone that would collect the money for the parcels of land, but when the person was not available, I was asked to pay into the church’s account number. I paid a total of N400,000.
“In 2009, I called the woman that introduced me that it would be better we check the parcels of land we paid for. The day we were called to check it, I was asked to pay for the survey, among other expenses, which I paid for.
“When we got to the site at the Mowe area of Ogun State, the land allocated to me was not up to half plot and I told them that I could not take it. I was promised another plot of land somewhere else. Till now, I have not received anything.
“When I called them, I was told that they had issues with land grabbers and that I should be patient. But anytime I call, they give me different excuses on how they are having issues with land grabbers.
“There was a time I was called for a meeting and in that meeting, I was told to give them two months to sort out the issues they had. Till now, I have not heard anything from them. The last time I called them, I was told that they were having issues and they did not know what to do. I told them that if there was no land they should return my money, but they told me that they were a church and where did I expect them to get N400,000? They said if I could be patient they would give me land.”
The receipts of payment for the land and other charges sighted by our correspondent showed that the money was paid in tranches of N245,000, N50,000, N100,000 and N50,000.
When the church was contacted, a member of the land committee, Yinka Amoo, said the church had contacted Odetunde.
He said, “We have called her to come and she said she would come when she is available. Till now, we have not seen her. She said she did not want the parcels of land again, that she wanted her money and we told her to come and make it official. We did not tell her that there was no money in the church.”
When our correspondent contacted Odetunde on the position of the church, she denied being contacted.
She explained that Amoo had been ignoring her calls, adding that anytime he picked, he gave excuses.
The complainant, while expressing frustration, noted that she could have taken legal action if the transaction did not involve a church.