#BounceExclusive: Touts Take Over Jimoh Ibrahim’s Former Office
In this noisy suburb, children giggle as they kick around a football ball by the side of the building.
They are less concern about the legitimacy of their residence. All they know is that their parents are occupying the building which they now refer to as our house.
A father darts around the kids as he heads out to run a few errands perhaps he will also grab a bottle or two on his way back.
Except for the broken tinted glasses outside, there is nothing in the building to show that it was once the Corporate head office of one of Nigeria’s acclaimed billionaires, Jimoh Ibrahim.
From the outside, it's evident that the building has suffered major structural damage over the years.
Known then as the Global Fleet House, the once busy building is now home to touts and over a dozen families who have been squatting here illegally.
The two-storey building, which was built over 13 years ago is located along the busy Lekki- Epe Expressway in Ajah area of Lagos State.
The abandoned property, which is just a stone –throw from the popular Ajah Market, was said to have been taken over by the touts shortly after Ibrahim relocated his corporate head office to Broad Street in Victoria Island.
Bounce News gathered that the illegal occupants initially looted some of the rooms that used to serve as offices and sold off valuables.
The street-wise guys, our findings further revealed, later decided to take-over the entire building, having realised that nobody challenged their action.
When Bounce News visited the building on Monday, one noticeable feature of the building is the dirty and unkempt environment.
The paint on the building has turned whitewash and brownish.
The water pipes have been damaged by the illegal occupants, who equally removed the window panes.
The front part of the premises has been converted to a loading bay for buses plying the Ajah to CMS route
Hustlers selling goods and other items of commercial value are also erected their temporary wooden stalls.
Some residents occupying the building, who spoke to our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, admitted living therein due to hardship.
An airtime card seller, who has his make-shift shop at the front of the building, said, “The building is providing food for the boys. The only thing, is that they should have made the surrounding clean.
“There are a lot of criminal activities going on in the building, but since I do not belong to their gang, I can only know little about their activities; you know, I have to face my own business.”
When asked who collects the rents on the building and space, the card seller noted that they pay to the first occupiers of the building as many of sellers believe they own the property.
Aside the Ajah building, several other properties belonging to Ibrahim have been abandoned and are in a state of the disrepair.
The former Newswatch office in Oregun is also lying fallow since Ibrahim bought the place in 2012.
The Nigeria Re-Insurance Corporation building on Broad Street is also begging for repairs.