The last has not been heard of the crisis brewing between 1004 Limited and residents of the estate, as the duo have resorted to the Nigerian Police Force for intervention.
The feud is getting messier as both parties are jostling to undo each other. While the manager is raising the alarm over the failure of the residents to honour their part of the agreement and forcefully seeking to take over the estate, the residents differ, alleging that 1004 Limited has not been fair in the management of the property.
Addressing the media in his office last week, the Managing Director, 1004 Estates Limited, Mr. Samuel Ukpong, said that the management has been having dispute with some people who claimed to be the residents and homeowners association of 1004 estate.
He said these are not recognized either by an election or any other legal means, adding that a court of competent jurisdiction has waded into the matter.
According to Ukpong, the group interferes with the management of the estate by asking people to under pay service charge annually, declining gradually from N450,000 to N350,000 to N180,000 to N15,000 and now to zero naira.
The matter was eventually taken to the court for the purpose of interpreting the sub lease document and whether agitators have a right to interfere with the management of the estate.
Ukpong, who disclosed that the matter has been on for two years, said the court last week gave judgment in its favour, “that the operating document of the estate is the 1004 Estate sub Lease”.READ ALSO – FG To Create 7 New Corridors For Railway
According to him, the court ruled that because we have been having exchanging communications and correspondence with the group, it would be taken as the valid association on the estate.
It was also said that the Judge held that the association was entitled to know how the estate is being run. In line with the ruling, Ukpong said his firm has been working to comply with that order, adding that there are no difficulties on the accounts whatsoever.
Efforts by the residents to Messrs. KPMG to audit the account of the company failed because KPMG did not give Messrs1004 Limited a non-disclosure agreement; not to reveal other businesses of the company apart from the service charge.
“Besides, one of the firm’s partners is also a member of the association.
What we now did was to appoint Messrs. Enst & Young, Price Waterhouse Cooper; Loyds and KPMG. Enst & Young was appointed to audit the service charge accounts from 2010 to 2014, but these residents refused to accept it in the past but now that the court has told us to give them the accounts, we will give them the accounts, which would be ready for review by Enerst & Young at the end of 2015.”
Regardless, our belief was that the accounts that we owe are to individual flat owners; we don’t owe an account to a collective group because everybody pays separately and everybody’s services are allocated separately.
However, he said the crisis got to a climax last week, when a member of the association broke into the estate’s transformer and tried to reconnect somebody whose services have been restricted; the person has not paid for three years. In the attempt to reconnect the person, they brought down and disconnected 120 units in the high-rise.
“We wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police and to the AIG over the matter of which a warrant of arrest was made. Police said they wanted to give us an opportunity for reconciliation.
“Surprisingly, what we saw was a truck load of mobile policemen who claimed that they were from Mopol 15 in Ilorin and that they were sent to assist the residents’ association takeover the estate. We then ran to the AIG who said he was not aware of those policemen and that he did not send them”, Ukpong said, saying they have taken over 1004 and that they had terminated the management, without being able to produce a copy of the judgment to that effect.