An Abuja High Court on Friday ordered a lawyer, Akhigbemen Ehimen, to pay N2.35 million to Mr Cornelius Agbor and his wife, Ebi, being money he swindled them.
Delivering judgment in the case, Justice Angela Otaluka held that the evidence before the court proved that the defendant did not deny the plaintiffs’ claims against him.
“The plaintiff’s claims against the defendant were not contested in court and this matter was brought under the undefended list which entitles the plaintiffs to summary judgment,’’ she said.
Otaluka said there was overwhelming documentary evidence of agreements reached between the parties on the nature of their business transaction, including the transfer of money to the defendants’ bank account.
“The crux of the matter is that the defendant and the plaintiffs agreed to enter into a loan investment, and evidence of cash transfer to the defendant’s bank account are before the court,’’ she said.
Otaluka said the case was brought under the undefended list which meant that that the defendant did not enter defence in the matter and so the plaintiffs were entitled to judgment.
“Judgment is, hereby, given in favour of the plaintiffs jointly and the court, therefore, orders that the sum of N2.35 million be paid by the defendant to the plaintiffs immediately,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the couple had, through their counsel, Mr Tony Ojong, filed a suit against the defendant for allegedly swindling them.
Ojong told the court that the defendant claimed to be a money facility agent and deceitfully collected money from the couple on many occasions under false pretence.
He said that the defendant promised the couple a 15 per cent interest on their money but neither paid back the capital nor the interest, even after the defendants made several demands for payment.
Ojong said that his clients’ claims against the defendant was made up of the initial capital and cumulative interests amounting to N2.35 million, and urged the court to order him to pay it.
He described the action of his learned colleague as fraudulent and a breach of professional ethics, adding that he acted by pretence as an investment solicitor without due licence.