BusinessDay

Fury in Atlantis Estate as residents allege fraud, exploitation by developers

…residents’ allegations are borne out of envy—Developers

Fury, anger and discontent are on the rise in Atlantis Estate as residents allege they are being defrauded, exploited, harassed and intimidated on incremental basis by the estate developers.

But the developers have dismissed these allegations as non-issues, insisting that they are borne out of envy by some residents who do not like the management model put in place in the estate.

A moderate estate comprising 18 housing units developed by Carter Tech Limited, Atlantis Estate is located in Ikate area of Lekki in Lagos. The affairs of the company as well as the estate are in the hands of Samson Nnadi and Jeremiah Erondu as directors in the company.

Besides intimidation, harassment and others, the residents also allege exclusion in the affairs of the estate, explaining that as home owners, they are not carried along in decisions that affect them.

Adebowale Ajayi is one of the home owners. He regrets buying a house in the estate because of the way home owners are treated. He recalled facing many service delivery issues shortly after taking possession of the house in 2018.

“The two directors, Nnadi and Erondu, who also live in the estate exercise lordship and fraud, using a sister company called Prime Facility Limited as facilities managers of the estate. They are also directors at the facilities management company,” Ajayi noted.

“I enquired from my fellow residents about Service Level Agreement (SLA) and the contract between residents and the facilities management company, but no one had an answer. However, they hinted that both Carter Tech Limited and PFL have common directors, an issue that has been causing conflict of interest in the estate,” he noted further.

Ajayi disclosed how he approached the directors for some issues ranging from their non-payment for services, utilities and energy consumed by them because they are also residents; incessant and unilateral increase in unit cost of energy, seizure and free use of estate resources, and not giving account of the estate’s finances for three years.

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He said he had records showing that the directors do not pay commensurate amount of money for power consumed , pointing out that, in 2019, PFL recorded that both directors jointly consumed power to the tune of N1,022,500 while, in actual fact, they consumed N2,296, 100 as shown in the record provided by the service provider, MEMMCOL.

There were also issues of frequent water discolouration, changing of staff and security guards without prior information to residents and lording themselves over home owners and residents. Another issue, according to him, was the directors’ ownership of the estate’s common areas such as the entrance to the estate, the management building, the gate house and others.

Corroborating Ajayi’s claims, Bobo Nwandu, a resident, said the directors have made life unbearable for everybody in the estate. “If you have any issue with them, they harass you with police and accuse you of being jealous of their success by claiming your right as a landlord in the estate,” he said.

Reacting to these allegations, the directors noted that “Ajayi’s action is borne out of envy because he boasted to people that he was ready to pull us down because we are too proud and we don’t listen to people.”

The directors, who spoke on phone with our reporter, said that right from the onset, they did not tell Ajayi that they were directors to just one company, adding that no law in Nigeria says you cannot be director in more than one company.

“This estate runs on full service. You have to pay your full service charge to enjoy the services in the estate. The estate is run on the basis of pay-as-you-go; yes, we refused to recognise the Residents’ Association in the estate because about six out of 18 of them came together to form the association. So, we said we would not recognise such an association,” the directors explained.

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