Metropole Interproject Limited, a company linked to the Ooni of Ife, Yoruba’s foremost traditional ruler, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has denied swindling housing investors and buyers to the tune of hundreds of millions of naira.
A report by the Foundation for Investigative Journalism had accused Oba Ogunwusi, Metropole Interproject Limited and its parent company, Gran Imperio Group of defrauding Nigerians in massive real estate scandal.
Lanre Jolaoso, Legal Adviser of the company in a statement on Wednesday described the report as misleading and false.
Jolaoso, however, admitted irregularities in the housing scheme, adding that the company has been issuing refunds to its subscribers.
He said, “The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi as far back as 2015 (just immediately after executing the Joint venture agreement for the Golden leaf project) and before his ascension to the throne, relinquished effective control and his equity in Metropole Interproject Limited to third parties and professional managers. His Majesty, has never interfered with the running of the company since then till date.
“Immediately upon execution of the joint venture agreement between Metropole Interproject Limited and its contract counter party, we (MIL) spent over N1.2 billion developing the road infrastructure from Ocean Bay Estate to the site of the Golden Leaf project, an almost 7km stretch of interlocking road, whilst contributing substantially to the road project of Olugborogan (what is today referred to as Orchid Road).
“The funds spent in these required infrastructure projects, were from Metropole Interproject Ltd and from funds paid by numerous subscribers to the Golden leaf project. Till date, nobody is talking about refund of that amount of money and the general public is using the private road freely which is in the common knowledge.
“However, as with every commercial venture, ta dispute broke out between the parties to the joint venture and this took years to resolve, thankfully, after the recent intervention of the Ooni of Ife. The challenges faced by the Golden Leaf project are matters of public record contained in suit FHC/CS/L/991/2016 and appeal number CA/L/226/2017.
“MIL has never for once denied its responsibilities to its subscribers, and has indeed commenced development in Golden Leaf Estate, and has been issuing refunds to subscribers, who have chosen to opt out of the project. We will continue to service those obligations like every reasonable organisation.
“In October 2020, MIL circulated a memo to some of the said subscribers to begin reconciliation and send in their bank details for refund. Refunds kicked off immediately, and with over a hundred people refunded already, the process is still ongoing. Another communication is scheduled to go out once we have cleared the first batch of refunds by August 2021. If any subscriber is yet to receive his/her refund, they are hereby advised to send a communication with their subscription details to [email protected] and get their refund process started or get in touch with the undersigned or the company’s retained solicitor, Messrs. Prag Attorneys (Attention; Olanrewaju Jolaoso Esq.; email; [email protected]).
“The 5 (Five) subscribers, who are referred to in the referenced article, are enjoined to immediately contact our staff or solicitor (through the emails specified in this letter) to ensure that their refund is processed accordingly.If truly they are objective without any clandestine they should have guided themselves with the ethical principles of investigative journalism which is missing in their unbalanced news reports.”