Residents of Royal Gardens Estate protest developer’s alleged exploitation

Residents of Royal Gardens Estate, Ajah Lagos protested over outrageous exploitation and extortion by the estate developer, Trojan Estate Limited and its agent, Broll Properties Limited.

The protesting residents, numbering about 100 at the weekend, kicked against the lack of transparency and disparity in electricity billing, security challenges and refusal to comply in signing the Service Level Agreement after several mediations by the court.

Describing this as unlawful and likely to compromise the safety of the dwellers, Chairman of the residents’ association, Anthony Ogbebor disclosed that the estate was under a complete lock down and total blackout in the entire estate due to the disconnection of electricity supply by the estate managers.

Explaining further, he said “We are protesting three counts – Bulk meter system, which we insist must be removed. The bulk meter system is the system where you bill the estate from a source irrespective of individual usage. Hence, the total usage will become a token purchased by an individual plus the common area level. If there is any illegality in the electricity distribution, it falls back on the residents. It is not appropriate to bill us in such a manner, we should be billed based on usages and the various common areas should be properly metered. The utilities and costs should be documented and distributed amongst the residents. We can’t be grouped under the bulk meter system and accrue outrageous bills not utilized by the residents.

“Secondly, we are demanding improvement regarding our security. The security system is at the lowest ebb at the moment. We had to address the security issues by sitting with the estate facility managers, brought in a consultant to evaluate the security system and designed a way out, which includes the installation of CCTV, automation of the gates and general improvements. For the past six months, we have tried to hold the discussion with them despite the residents ready to take up the cost, they are yet to respond to us.

“Another issue is the Service Level Agreement that was not in existence from inception. We approached the court and the court instructed that they should go into agreement and mediation with the residents but the agents have been avoiding several mediations. To generate the SLA, they were expected to make inputs. For the past six years, we have been on this and Trojan/Broll have refused to sign the document. The lawyer representing Trojan is not happy with the refusal of his client to sign the SLA. There are other issues that need redress but we believe that if these three are addressed every other issue we fall into place. We are only canvassing for collaboration from the developer in resolving the outstanding challenges. We bought into your property does not mean you should hold us hostage.”

Another resident who spoke on condition of anonymity, decried that the lingering issues have remained unresolved because of the powers that be involved as the facility developer company, Trojan Estate Limited is owned by Rilwan Olakunle Tinubu – Managing Director who is a member of President Tinubu’s family.

He revealed that the residents have also approached the court to address some of the issues but the lawlessness by Trojan/Broll has remained unabated.

“Both companies, according to the residents, have not been accountable and have refused to sign the deed of agreement with the residents,” he said.

The resident further hinted that the facility company had to impose an outrageous service charge of N630, 000 on each resident, which is also imposed on owners of undeveloped properties and additional N27, 000 for electricity consumption for the common areas. “Some residents pay as much as N1 million every month for electricity charges. Electricity bills paid for last year added to 2024 cost the resident to the tune of over N250 million for the period of 2023/2024 because of lack of transparency of Trojan.

Meanwhile, at the time of filing this report, the facility Managers refused to comment over the matter when approached at their office.

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