A Lagos High Court has ordered two directors of investment and portfolio management company, Cowrie Investment and Securities Limited, Salako Tajudeen Adebayo, Oyeti Kehinde Babatunde and their company to pay a 72-year-old woman Erehi Olayiwola Oyesola Aina the sum of N12.5 million.
To also join the two directors in paying the judgement sum is the former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Law Union and Rock Insurance Company, Omosanya Akinyemi.
The judgement of the court was sequel to an application filed before the court and argued by a Lagos lawyer, Barrister Abiodun Onidare urging the court to enter final judgement against the defendants for being in default of appearance and pleadings.
According to statement of claim filed before the court by Mr. Abiodun Onidare which the defendant failed to file any defence, the claimant alleged that sometime in November 2000, Mr. Omosanya Akinyemi who was then the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Law Union and Rock Insurance company introduced Cowrie Investments and Securities Limited and its two directors, Salako Tajudeen Adebayo and Oyeti Kehinde Babatunde to Erelu Olayiwola Oyesola Aina for the purpose of investing in Cowrie Investment and Security company.
After the introduction a deed of guarantee was signed between the claimants and the two directors and in addition a letter of guarantee from Omosanya Akinyemi, the claimant by a memorandum of agreement dated 2 November, 2000 entered into an investment agreement with Cowrie Investment Company to invest the sum of 50,000 pounds sterling at the interest rate of 36 per cent per annum. The tenor for the investment was fixed for aperiod of 180 days.
The two directors of the investment company, guaranteed the repayment of the principal sum and interest on the said principal sum.
However, the claimant averred that the company defaulted in the payment of the accrued interest from the 28 May 2001 till date and the company only paid the sum of N1,750,000 out of the accrued interest.
The claimant has demanded severally for the payment of the accrued interest and the principal sum of 50,000 pounds sterling invested with the company and its two directors.
Consequently, the claimant claims against the defendants jointly and severally are as follows:
•The sum of N12,500,000 only, which is the equivalent to the sum of 50,000 pounds sterling being the amount invested by the claimant with Cowrie Investment Company and its two directors.
•An order directing the defendants to pay the claimant interest at the rate of 40 per cent per annum from the day of judgement until the date of final liquidation of the entire judgement sum.
After listening to the argument and submission of Mr. Onidare the presiding judge, Justice Lawal Akapo said “there was no response to the supporting affidavit by way of counter affidavit. The legal effect is that the averments in the supporting affidavit are deemed admitted.
Consequently, judgment is entered in favour of the claimant against the defendants jointly and severally in the sum of N12,500,000 with interest at the rate of ten per cent per annum from 2 November, 2000 till judgment and thereafter at the rate of six per cent per annum until the entire sum is liquidated. A cost of N50,000 was also awarded in favour of the claimant against the defendants.