Abeni Aso-Oke

SAVE OUR SOUL Residents accuse HOB Estate Management of breach of contract, eviction threats, demands government’s intervention. By Chris Mark

SAVE OUR SOUL Residents accuse HOB Estate Management of breach of contract, eviction threats, demands government’s intervention

Abeni Aso-Oke

Abeni Aso-Oke

Residents of HOB Housing Estate in Igbatoro Road, Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State, have cried out to the Federal Government, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, the Ondo state government and other concerned stakeholders to save them from being swindled by the management of the estate and help prevent what might lead to crisis and public disturbance.

They lamented, that the management of the HOB Estate, rather than honouring agreed terms, has been threatening every member of the estate of converting their ownership of the units to rent or outright forceful eviction.

Abeni Aso-Oke

The residents explained, that they approached the Management of HOB Estate Limited sequel of the advertisement posted to the general public on housing ownership on the Estate.

“After due interaction with the senior officials of the Company and the terms spelt out to us, both verbally and document-wise, each of us indicated our interest to acquire a three bedroom detached bungalow.

“We were asked to pay a compulsory 20% down-payment out of the total value of the price of each unit. At that time, the units allocated to us were in carcass form as the completion stage on each of them was less than 30%.

But HOB Estate Limited assured us that the units assigned to us will be completed within few weeks after fulfilling the 20% down payment.

Meanwhile, our source of encouragement towards showing interest in acquiring housing units on the estate was based on the convictions that the estate is in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and this was emphasizd to us by the management of HOB limited from inception.

Sequel of the foregoing, three options for full payment were spelt out to us by HOB management. They were:

. Outright Payment
. Installmental Payment within one year and
. NHF Mortgage Finance for 25 years.
**See the Appendices.
While some of us opted for C which is NHF Mortgage Finance, other buyers opted for the other two options.

The house owners under the mortgage finance arrangement are expected to embark on installment payment through a PMI to be given us by HOB Nigeria Limited.

When we waited for sometimes and no further development was done on the units we deposited for, we approached the Manager of HOB Estate Limited that instead of waiting endlessly, he should allow us complete the allocated units with our own money after which they will appropriately defray our expenses.

This was gentlemanly agreed upon and we embarked on the completion of our respective units by spending amounts running to millions of naira to make them habitable for our use.

Since then, we have been on the neck of HOB Estate Limited to have further meeting with us for two reasons: (i) to agree on what balance to pay and (ii) to let us know the mortgage-related financial institution (PMI) through which we should be paying the balance, especially those of us on the option of mortgage finance arrangement.

At the end of it, HOB Estate Limited initially proposed Jubilee Savings & Loans to us. The same management of HOB directed us that we should not make any payment through Jubilee because it was having issues with Jubilee.

Later ,HOB management came up with Aso Savings & Loans, a financial institution. Before any of us could complete the processing of our account opening with Aso Savings, HOB management halted us again promising to give us another PMI.

Follow up to the above, HOB management came with the officials of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) who attended the Estate Residents’ Association meeting sometimes in early 2016 for the above reason on one hand and to assess the physical/infrastructural statuses of the Estate on the other.

At the meeting, HOB Estate Limited informed us that the company would complete arrangement with the FMBN within two weeks and put in place an appropriate channel for remitting our mortgage contributions.

However, up till now they have not tidied up any of the arrangements and we were made to be aware that the Estate is not under sole proprietorship or personal ownership of HOB Estate Limited and its officials.

Apart from the fact that HOB Estate Limited did not carry out up to 30 percent of development of each of the units handed over to us, they also abandoned the infrastructure and the facilities on the Estate up till now.

They only managed to open up the road network and erected the electric poles and cables at inception, the finishing was done by each of us.

In recent times, he has been threatening every member of the estate of converting our ownership of the units to rent or outright forceful eviction. He based these on:
(1). General inflation affecting replacement costs; whereas they have not replaced anything in our units since inception till date.

(2). Bank interests on estate development loans – we do not know what this is meant.

(3). Office management costs – We are not aware of the office he is running on our behalf.

(4). Estate preservation and maintenance costs – We are the ones regularly contributing money among ourselves to maintain electricity, grade roads, construct drainage, provide water, security, sewage/waste disposal, erosion control, sporting facilities among others, none by him.

(5). Infrastructural costs – We are the ones that regularly contribute money to provide and maintain basic infrastructure and security on the Estate.

Yet he recently came up with heavy annual bills to be enforced on us for facilities he does not provide.

Up till now, all efforts towards the payment of any legitimate balance on the basis of mortgage finance could not see the light of the day from the HOB Estate Limited’s end.

In addition, he also raised the issue of imaginary security/service indebtedness even when we made arrangement to hire a registered security outfit consequent of the incessant attack on us by vandals, thieves and herdsmen who virtually turned the Estate to a grazing land and drug haven.

The confusion which the officials of HOB Estate Limited caused by their divide and rule tactics in the Estate had led the matter of security to now be pending in a court of competent jurisdiction.

We are however letting him know that his claim about security service which its management worked millions of naira for us to be paying him regularly (aside the main housing unit cost) can only best be regarded as prejudicial.

Meanwhile, this is not the only matter between some of our members that is pending in the court of law.
We are pleading to the federal government for quick intervention on our current plights with respect to the foregoing among other matters.

This is germane because the regular threats from HOB Limited is causing emotional concern among our families.

It is imperative that federal government send a delegation to the estate to verify these issues, define our current status, define what more to pay and whom to pay to, whom to pay through, determine how the infrastructure/facilities promised from inception can be provided among others and determine if HOB Estate Limited has the right to significantly alter the original Master Plan of the Estate unilaterally.

This is in view of the fact that Master Plans are public statutory documents that is legally guided with appropriate procedures for its alteration.

Today, no space again on the Estate for sporting, worship centres, utility, police post, creche or school among others.
When we discovered that HOB management was embarking on gross distortion of the original mandate of the estate land use, we approached the appropriate government authority to seek clarifications.

In fact the Federal controller of land in Ondo State confirmed that HOB limited is only a developer who is expected to complete specified numbers of housing units and therefore does not have the mandate to outrightly sell undeveloped lands or convert the proceed to his personal benefits.

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