Failed land deal: Church pays businesswoman after media publication
Failed land deal: Church pays businesswoman after media publication
Failed land deal: Church pays businesswoman after media publication
The First Baptist Church, Kosofe Parish, Lagos State, has paid a businesswoman, Olaitan Odetunde, who accused it of swindling her of N400,000 after promising to give her two plots of land.
The payment followed a report by newsmen on the travails of Odetunde, who found it difficult to get her money or the plots of land promised her by the church.Newsmen had reported that the 60-year-old had paid N400,000 into the church’s account in 2008 for two plots of land.

The land reportedly allocated to Odetunde in the Mowe area of Ogun State was not up to half of a plot, which she refused, while the promise by the church to give her other plots of land somewhere else was not fulfilled.

 According to Odetunde, whenever she called members of the land committee of the church, she was given different excuses on how they were having issues with land grabbers.
Odetunde, who noted that she trusted the transaction and parted with the money because she thought she was dealing with godly people, said all efforts to get the land or her money back had proved abortive.

In a letter addressed to newsmen, the church, however, explained that the land transaction was hampered by court judgments against the original landowners.The church added that it did not swindle the businesswoman, noting that several calls were put across to Odetunde.

The letter read in part, “The church is neither a land seller nor an estate agent, but due to pleas from her members, who had difficulties in acquiring land, the church set up a committee, which made a bulk purchase of land for the interest of her members.

“Mrs Odetunde, having heard about the church’s effort, got herself introduced to the church through a member. She then paid the sum of N400,000 for two plots of land.“Unfortunately, the land transactions were hampered by court judgments against the original landowners, thus necessitating the ratification of the land by the church with the new ones.

“It is important to state categorically and emphatically that the church did not and would never swindle any person for any amount whatsoever.

“Very significant also is that the members of the land committee had called the woman on several occasions inviting her for a meeting to update her, but she rebuffed the calls.”
However, after the report, the First Baptist Church gave Odetunde a cheque, which was not honoured by the bank, but it later transferred the sum of N445,000 into her Polaris Bank account.
Efforts to reach the church to confirm the development were frustrated by the chairman of the land committee, who refused to speak with our correspondent.

An elated Odetunde, who could not contain her joy, commended newsmen for helping to get her money. She said, “This is to show my appreciation to newsmen. If we can get three to four newspapers that can be doing such things, Nigeria will be better than this. You help the underprivileged people to fight for their rights without asking for money.

“I have been telling people about your office that the only thing you demand from people is the truth and nothing more. What I could not do for the past 11 years, you did it within one month. Once more, I say thank you to newsmen, I really appreciate you.”

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