BY all indications, Bishop David Oyedepo is an astute businessman. And this was very, very evident in the way he acquired 24 villages in Ogun State for the construction of Canaan City.
Information available to ENCOMIUM Weekly revealed that the new 8,000 hectares of land acquired by him to build his proposed Africa’s biggest housing estate in Ado-Odo/Ota local government area of Ogun State were from villagers.
The hectares of land were acquired from villages in Iyesi, Ijeba, Osuke, Faru, Olukowonjo, Idimu, Okomi, Ibeju, Lemomu, Atan, Igbesa, Lusada, Ewutagbe, Imuta, Batera, Tatowu, Ikogbo, Imoshe, Igbo-Ota and stretches to Lafenwa and Olugbodo.
According to our source, the shepherd-in-charge of Living Faith World Outreach, popularly known as Winners Chapel, with his agents, allegedly acquired the hectares of land at a ridiculous sum of N350,000 per acre. And those with houses were paid between N5 million and N6 million, depending on the structure to vacate their property.
The payment, we learnt, was made in four instalments to the representatives of each family head. Insiders informed ENCOMIUM Weekly that the payments were made with Intercontinental Bank cheques. According to our source, the initial plan was to approach the aged leaders of each community who were attracted to the offer of N350,000 per acre, which they quickly agreed to without due consultation. This almost led to a crisis when some of the learned children of the village heads learnt about the deal. The reason was that a plot of land on that side is N250,000 and six plots make an acre. Therefore, an acre of land should go for N1.5 million. However, they could do nothing about it when they were confronted with valid documents backing the acquisition. This transaction, we gathered, was made possible by Bishop Oyedepo’s land speculators, who are indigenes of the area.
Furthermore, our source also squealed that part of the reasons Oyedepo acquired some of the land from villages that link Lafenwa to Ayobo is to construct a highway that will be a four-lane express.
This, we learnt, will ease the heavy traffic they always encounter when coming to Canaanland to worship.
On Sunday, February 6, 2011, one of the representatives of Idimu village, Mr. Segun Oke, confirmed the land acquisition. “Yes, it is true that Bishop David Oyedepo acquired hectares of land from about 24 villages to build Canaan City. The lands are actually more than 8,000 hectares, because in some of the villages, he got more than a thousand hectares. Our own clan is Idimu and I can tell you categorically that he got the land at the rate of N350,000 per acre. The family heads were Ikibawo and Ileshe. We were all paid with Intercontinental Bank cheques. I can tell you that he is also constructing a four-lane expressway that will link Canaanland to Ayobo, Lagos. As regards where the land owners have relocated, Ado-Ode/Ota has an expanse of land and the villagers still have spare lands around the village.”
Bishop David Oyedepo is currently building Africa’s biggest housing estate in Ota, Ogun State known as Canaan City.
The architect turned preacher of the Word acquired about 8,000 hectares of land for the project. The new land is an extension of Canaanland and was purchased for over N500 million. It has already been fenced. That alone set him back by a billion naira, as its perimeter length is about 400km. The clergyman, we learnt, has begun construction of hiis 15,000 residential houses on the land.
The houses are of six types and range from 3-bedroom flats of N4.9 million, duplex of N37.13m, semi-detached duplex of N24.2m, terrace house of N15.41m, high cost apartment of N24.62m, medium cost apartment of N8.22m to executive villas of N45.5 million. Other facilities inside the Canaan City would include a police station, banks, shopping centres, parks, swimming pools for each block and flats and villas, plus Covenant University Teaching Hospital. The first 500 units will begin in April 2011 and each phase will take six months. It would be completed in 2013. The record breaking 15,000 housing units will be handled primarily by a Malaysian company, Affcom Success Sendiran Berhad and about 5,000 local contractors. The project, we learnt, would gulp over one billion pounds (N250 billion) and the funds are expected from the ministry, members and their friends worldwide.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, February 8, 2011