Following reports and controversies still trailing the ownership of the whooping N15 billion discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, the anti-graft body has also reportedly come up with documents linking the flat to Mrs. Folashade Oke, wife of the suspended Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayodele Oke. Not only that, the woman was said to have acquired the property with N360 million which was paid in dollars ($1.63 million).
The outrageous amount has since been raising heated debate among many Nigerians, especially property experts as some believed the figure was exaggerated. Others still concluded the price was appropriate based on the location and quality of the structure.
Among property and estate valuers encomium.ng spoke to, Mr. Obi Uzor of Obi and Co, Ogba disagreed with the amount quoted. He insisted it was inflated.
“My brother, it’s not possible. The woman couldn’t have bought that flat at that amount, it’s outrageous. How can a flat at Osborne, Ikoyi be more expensive than the one in Banana Island, the estate adjudged the most expensive in Africa. In Banana Island, there is a flat of N100 m and the structure will even be more solid. I believed the amount was quoted to embezzle public money. After all, it was an illegal deal.”
However, Mr Olatunji Abidemi’s submission corroborated the said amount. He argued that the Osborne Tower, at the time it was completed, was the most competitive building not only in that vicinity but Nigeria as a whole. According to him, the edifice won an award in 2015 as the best in West Africa on account of its architectural design, location and ultra modern facilities therein. So, the value of the flat in the building can be as high as N300m and even above.
“The value of the flat was not exaggerated at all. Osborne Towers is a unique building on its own and it’s built for special people. You can imagine the kind of people that own flats there. They pay in foreign currency and the facilities they enjoy are first class. You can compare it with any structure right now. Just like Leo Atlantic City which is for the high and mighty. The price there is also higher than what obtains in Banana Island or elsewhere. So, I don’t doubt it when they said the woman bought the flat for N360m. It’s worth it based on the calibre of people living there, its location and the quality of the structure itself.”
– TADE ASIFAT for encomium.ng