February 06, (THEWILL) – Real estate couple, Bamidele and Tolu Onalaja, have been in the eye of the storm all week for refusing to provide plots of land paid for by thousands of Nigerians, some of who are yet to get their allocation seven years after paying millions of naira.
The nonchalant attitude of the couple to the prospective landlords’ demands, in addition to Tolu’s rudeness, insults and brash attitude to customers, proved a bit too much to swallow, prompting many to call them out. A few who couldn’t bear to see their hard earned money go down the drains were forced to visit the company’s headquarters to create scenes. While some succeeded, others didn’t as the Onalaja couple swiftly got the police involved to provide security at the company and to forestall a possible breakdown of law and order.
Seeing that their hands were tied, the aggrieved clients decided to drag the popular ambassadors of the real estate company into the fray by accusing them of aiding and abetting the fraud being perpetuated by the company. These ambassadors, who are actors Broda Shaggy, Toyin Abraham and Odunlade Adekola, were all forced to weigh into the matter to save their reputation. Following their intervention, the couple resolved to make a refund to aggrieved customers who wanted their money refunded. But there is a caveat, they get 60 per cent of the total sum of money paid for the purchase of lands while the company keeps 40 per cent, a situation that the aggrieved clients are not willing to accept. Why give them 60 percent of their money and not full payment, they wondered.
Apart from resorting to save face and to obviously prevent anti graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, from wading in, by putting out videos on social media and granting interviews, in a bid to calm aggrieved clients, they have also began to allocate lands to aggrieved persons, albeit, in a hurried manner, thus raising more suspicion.
The coming of RevolutionPlus seven years ago was like a breath of fresh air to the real estate industry. Many longed for a company that would meet their real estate needs satisfactorily and must have felt that the company won’t disappoint where others failed. Bamidele Onalaja is the chairman of the company, while Tolu Onalaja is the group executive director and the face of the company. They allegedly put up the facade of a serious minded couple, who were ready to change the face of real estate in Nigeria, particularly in the South-West.
The couple set up a huge public relation machinery that helped to spin the story of a hardworking couple that was out to provide landed properties and homes at very affordable prices. This made many people to seek the couple’s services.
The Onalajas further boosted their profile by engaging popular entertainers as ambassadors of the brand, partnered and sponsored lots of events, parties and shows, including providing two bedroom apartments to winners of the Big Brother Naija reality show, on two consecutive occasions. They just generally fronted a perceived successful brand that knows its onions when it comes to housing needs without the usual harassment of omo oniles.
As people went to them in droves, so did their bank accounts continue to swell. Rather than allocate lands to clients as soon as they make payments, the Onalajas kept them waiting with the excuse that allocation was being done in batches due to the high demand from customers. But what this couple failed to tell their paying clients was the unavailability of land to allocate to them as soon as they make payments. They allegedly sold over 1,000 plots of land in one of their touted estates that can only accommodate 150 plots. Instead, the millions realised from clients was allegedly used to fund an extremely lavish lifestyle that was virtually non-existent before then. This couple allegedly went on a spending spree, living large on people’s money. From splurging on wonders on wheels to buying up properties on Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island, including the all glass building that used to house Ecobank on Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos. The company, which started as RevolutionPlus Properties later became a holding company.
From operating in Ikeja, they moved their head office to Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. Tolu set up a lingerie business, Angelic lingerie, where she sells expensive lingerie from Victoria Secret and other top brands. The couple set up a food company in the Lekki area of Lagos called Remarkable Foods, as well as a bakery and a water business. They also bought two properties in Dallas, Texas, USA to further woo unsuspecting Nigerians.
On their seventh year anniversary, which was celebrated in 2021, they went all out with a very lavish celebration, gifting cars and electrical appliances to realtors that partnered with them and the staff of the company. Also on her 41st birthday on Sunday 14th, February 2021, Tolu spent about N10m feting widows through the Chris Bamidele Empowerment Foundation, a foundation run by herself and her husband. What is more, the couple is known to be huge donors to a popular pentecostal church where they are staunch members, apparently, for prestige. One would think that as a Christian, Bamidele would put a stop to his philandering ways. But the reverse is the case.