One of the greatest Scourges associated with buying an Omonile land is this dreadful affliction called “OMONILE SIGNING FEES to sign a Deed of Assignment” so as to drain the pockets of Land buyers. Nothing inflicts greater pain and evokes more emotions as much as this topic when it comes to buying Land in Lagos or Ogun State. These Omoniles have devised a method to establish an alternative Land taxation system whereby they do everything possible to grab as much as they want financially from a prospective buyer.
They invent all sorts of silly, idiotic and devilish fees to scare the buyer and make it mandatory to pay these fees no matter how absurd it sounds. Truth of the matter is that it’s nothing short of a day light robbery to frustrate a buyer for their own selfish means. These fees they coerce buyers to shell out end up in the pockets of Village Chiefs or influential members of the community to expend for their own selfish gain. They use the money to drink Ogogoro, settle outstanding debts or marry new wives. The enlightened ones amongst them see this as a get rich quick avenue to buy new clothes, buy flashy cars to pose around town, wear swanky clothes and generally show their mates they have arrived. This stirs up some form of jealousy in the other communities and they quickly set up a committee to draft a higher price list that should cripple the buyer financially who is interested in buying a land in their community.
These Omonile Signing fees to sign a Deed of Assignment are hardly used to develop the communities that they claim it’s for. When an enlightened Buyer sees in between their scams, these Community leaders or Chiefs will do everything possible to intimidate you, send thugs to scare you or beat you up, destroy or break down your fence or foundation and generally make life very uncomfortable for you violently until you pay them the money they demand from you. If you go to the police to report, the police will tell you to go and settle with them, if you become stubborn, these people would forcefully take over your land till you pay up. They are merciless, cruel, bloodsucking, greedy and downright selfish and they are not remorseful about their ways.
Below is a Real Life Sample of an Omonile Demand list for Land Payments before you can take possession of your own land after you have paid Millions to Acquire it. Even Without you even shelling out 1 Kobo on their Land, You are required to pay over N1Million Naira for very senseless and silly things. Can you Imagine this Day light Robbery?
The Lagos state Government is trying to pass a bill to stop these criminals hiding under the State Properties Protection Bill 2013 but I haven’t seen anything in the bill so far that will scare or prevent these people from extracting more money from buyers. A paltry punishment sum of N200,000 fine or 2 Years imprisonment for any person found guilty of the section on forceful possession of land is ridiculous to say the least and I am sure the Omoniles will snigger at the bill in case any buyer uses it to threaten them.
Bottom-line the prospects of beating this people at their game looks bleak but i have devised a way to thump them at their own game and that is playing on their Greed and employing the Divide and Rule Tactics the British used on Nigeria to Conquer us on these Omoniles so as to minimize the huge payments of these Omonile Fees. I have been involved in so many Omonile Transactions for so many years and I have studied their way of life, how they think and how they react when it comes to Omonile Money issues and 80% of them follow a particular pattern.
So before you buy your Next Omonile Land, Follow these simple but effective tactics to prevent paying that Huge Omonile fee that could be used to do better things in your life or add to the beautification of the house your building instead of giving your life savings to one waif looking, hungry, greedy, lazy illiterate claiming to be the First son or “Olori Ebi” of the Seller.
1. Before you buy any Land at all, ask your Agent to find out the family or community that owns the property you intend to buy. Some of these Families are famous for their notoriety in extorting money from innocent purchasers that runs into their Millions a times. It’s best you keep away from such people. These Families are schooled in the Art of demanding for everything under the sun excluding the cost of the Land itself and until you do your house warming, you’re a Slave to them and a human ATM Machine. Most of them are located in Eti-Osa local Government and they are as dangerous as it gets. They keep army of thugs in case you get out of line and you are at their mercy. If you can avoid buying in those areas that have a checkered past please look for alternatives.
2. When you have finished Verifying the Land you intend to buy, let them know of your interest in it but don’t show extreme desperation. These People are not interested in you or your well being, only the smell of your money matters to them. Fuel their Interest and water their throat that you have the money to pay for the land but you are interested in negotiating the total cost of all the fees you are to pay unless you would walk away because you have other options. If they are still adamant not to concede anything to you, issue them a photocopy of the check or bank draft for them to hold and tell them you are waiting for your lawyer to come and help you draw up the agreements for you. If they don’t hear from you after a day or 2, they will bombard you with phone calls asking you when you are coming to pay.
Any Omonile that holds a photocopy of a check or bank draft is already a Slave to you and is ready to do your bidding. If you give him excuses why you might not honor the check, he will ask you to name them. Tell him you still have to pay agency fees, legal fees, survey the land and this Omonile fees are a big hindrance to the transaction because it is over shooting your budget. The Omonile at this Juncture will personally revise the Omonile fees either through a drastic reduction or outright cancellation of the Signing Fees because they don’t want to lose the full figure of the land compared to the Omonile Fees they were craving for previously. If an Omonile or a disgruntled section of the Omoniles decides to still demand for that Omonile Signing fee, it would lead to an internal squabble amongst themselves to coerce the person or group to see the bigger picture with respect to the full cost of the Land they are about to miss if they stand their grounds for that Omonile Fee.
This Method only works if you are patient and steadfast to the cause. It’s your money not theirs yet so play with their greedy minds. Don’t let them see you as the timid and desperate one. Most of the time when they call you, refer them to your lawyer. They fear Lawyers and find it very difficult to convince lawyers to bend to their wishes
3. With respect to the nauseating “FOUNDATION FEES”, you can temporarily evade this one by telling the Omoniles that you will pay their Foundation fees when you want to start building properly. The Smart ones amongst them will quickly tell you that you must pay the foundation fees once you attempt to construct a Fence. Argue with them at this point in time and involve your lawyer. Tell them you will never buy a land and leave it unattended to without fencing it and if they want to bully you to pay Foundation money to them as Fencing Money, then know they don’t wish you well and you can take your money to another place.
Also add an extra sweetener by telling the Selling Omonile that you will give him the contract to supply the blocks and cement to fence your land round but if he insists on collecting the Foundation Fee now, you would not give him the business. Trust me he would go and fight on your behalf for them to forgo the fee now because he doesn’t want to lose your business.
The reason why this method works so well is because you are working on their inner greed and the need for them to get paid immediately. It is also an advantage for you to forgo this fee right now because even if you pay it now and you leave your land unattended to in months or years, whenever you feel you are financially buoyant to start work, you will just see another set of thugs or Families coming to demand you pay them for a new Foundation fee. Your protestation that you have already paid this fee to the accredited representatives of the Family will fall on deaf ears and you must pay this new set of people before you can start work. This form of Omonile Double Taxation is very rampart and you should learn from this to avoid being their next victim. Only pay the reduced and agreed Omonile fees once and pay it only when you want to start serious work on the land so that you know you’re paying to only one family instead of 2 or more Fictitious Families.
Fast Tip:Tell the Omonile that he would supply the Blocks like the ones in the picture below if he shelves the Foundation Fees now. He would look at the bigger picture and calculate the financial gains that would accrue to him and fight anybody that is ready to take away that business in exchange for a Foundation Fee
4. To be honest when it comes to the roofing or decking Money, there is very little you can do because they are monitoring your building for you so they see everything but there is still some light at the end of the tunnel. This tip applies to buyers who are buying it from an Individual who has bought from the family previously. Demand from him the receipts he previously paid to the family with regards to Omonile Fees. If he says he has lost them or he didn’t pay the Omoniles, use that as a veritable bargaining chip to cut the price he intends to sell the land to you because he is pushing you into the Lion’s den alone. Because he wants to close the deal, he will concede to the price so that you use that amount saved to settle the Omoniles.
If it is a Seller who claims to have gotten the Omonile Signing Fees Receipt from the Seller, Force him to take you to the Omoniles to confirm the authenticity of that receipt and to introduce you as their brother or sister so that they don’t draw up a new bill. A small token should be given to them rather in the form of drinks or presents or Brown envelope. This helps you eliminate paying a huge fee to them twice.
Lets all join hands to eliminate this Omonile Scams that are contributing negatively to the economy and pauperizing our wallets. Verify that land or property your interested in purchasing before you buy.
Busy fighting omoniles over fake land documents! Call me on 08077943514 or 07036681104 for more info and find me on Facebook at Nairaland lawyer