Police operatives from Ejigbo Division led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Olabisi Okuwobi have arrested a 65-year old landlady, Mrs. Celina Obioma, for consistently renting out the apartment prone to flood to unsuspecting accommodation seekers as a way of extorting them.
The culprit was arrested following a report by her tenant at the police station, Samuel Okpara, who claimed to have lost all his properties.
The unsuspecting tenant had rented the new apartment during the dry season but it was later discovered that the flat was built on sewage passageway susceptible to flood during the rainy season.
Narrating his ordeal, the tenant, Okpara, explained that while he was searching for an apartment, the house was introduced to him by the landlady’s son, Sylvester, who was not living in the house himself because of the flood.
He said the house was painted and when he went to inspect the apartment, he discovered that there were signs on the wall indicating that rain might have affected the apartment in the past but he was told it had been rectified and that the apartment was no more affected by rain or flood.
Okpara said he paid the rent in September 2019, during the dry season, adding that it was after he moved into the house that some neighbours warned him that he would soon move out of the apartment.
According to him, when he asked for the reason, he was told that tenants usually moved into the house during the dry season and left during the rainy season as a result of incessant flooding.
“And in truth, when the rain started two weeks ago, I was sleeping in the house only to discover that the whole flat has been submerged in flood. I quickly evacuated my family and lodged in a nearby hotel,” he stated.
Okpara said since then, he has been homeless, adding that he pleaded with the landlady to refund part of his rent but she refused so he then reported the matter to the police who came to inspect the apartment and discovered that he had lost all his properties in the house.
Meanwhile, the landlady alleged that the apartment has been that way since she invested her money in building the house.
She admitted that flood was the major challenge, saying she did not normally refund her tenants when they packed out because she spent money to build the house.
It was gathered that many tenants had rented the apartment in the past and equally left during the rainy season in tears while the house would be repainted during the following dry season for another unsuspecting tenant.
However, the police said the landlady would be charged to Court for willingly using the apartment to extort money from unsuspecting members of the public.