Squatters have moved into London’s billionaire’s row by occupying a nine-bedroom house worth millions of Pounds belonging to a Nigerian politician and the ex-president of the senate, the late Chief Evan Enwerem.
The men moved into the empty home in The Bishops Avenue, close to Hampstead Heath, two months ago.
The neighbours in the area include Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man, whose home a few doors down was briefly put on the market last year for £40 million. Other residents are said to include Prince Jefri, brother of the Sultan of Brunei, and various members of the Saudi royal family.
Trevor Abrahmsohn of Glentree Estates, the estate agency responsible for some of the biggest property deals in the area puts the estate value of the property at about £30 million.
According to the Evening Standard, the squatters said that the owners knew they were in there — and they did not mind. They also warned that other empty houses in the street could be targeted next.
One of the men, a 30-year-old who gave his name only as Eduard, said: “We moved into this place two months ago. After finding the property we contacted the owners and said look your home is empty and falling apart, we can look after it for you. They agreed to the deal.”
The property’s registered owner, according to the Land Registry, is Evan Enwerem, a senior Nigerian politician, who bought it in 1978 but who died in 2007.
Evan Enwerem is a former Nigerian senate President who served in the seventh senate in 1999.
He was removed about five months later when he was accused of falsifying his name causing a controversy as to whether Enwerem’s actual real name was Evan or Evans.
He was removed from office on 18 November 1999, in an ouster spearheaded by allies of the late Chuba Okadigbo, his rival.
Eduard said: “We knew that this is the billionaires’ row and there are other empty places like this here and maybe we can do the same for them.”
His associate, who gave his first name as Katalin, 33, added: “There are three people from our company Prep who are staying here. “More than 10 people have worked on repairing this building. When we came here it was falling apart. The roof was leaking for years and the water had caused so much damage. We’ve fixed the leak and began renovating.
“This is all with the owners’ consent and we have this same arrangement with other places in London.”