Justice K.N. Ogbonnaya delivers Landmark judgment in the Case of Aigbefoh E. David vs. Prabhakar Routhu Anjaneyulu & Ors. By NAN

Justice K.N. Ogbonnaya delivers Landmark judgment in the Case of Aigbefoh E. David vs. Prabhakar Routhu Anjaneyulu & Ors.  By NAN

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In a landmark judgement delivered by Justice K.N. Ogbonnaya of the High Court 16, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, the court ruled decisively in favor of the Claimant, Mr. Aigbefoh E. David, Esq., trading under the name and style of David Aigbefoh & Co (Lex Dominus Chambers), in the suit numbered FCT/HC/GWD/CV/141/23. The case pitted Mr. David against Engr. Prabhakar Routhu Anjaneyulu and three corporate entities: Aravind Metalic Nig. Ltd, Aravind Architectural Aluminium Nig. Ltd, and Pan Africa Facade Solutions Int’l Ltd.

The origins of the dispute trace back to the professional relationship between Mr. David and the Defendants. Mr. David was instrumental in incorporating Aravind Metalic Nig. Ltd and Aravind Architectural Aluminium Nig. Ltd, facilitating expatriate quotas that allowed the first Defendant, Engr. Prabhakar Routhu Anjaneyulu, to obtain a work and resident permit in Nigeria. Following this, the parties entered into a retainer agreement on March 9, 2016, wherein Mr. David provided legal services to the Defendants.

However, on May 20, 2019, this agreement was breached by the Defendants under the influence of Mr. Mahmud Abubakar Magaji SAN. The breach was communicated through a letter dated June 11, 2019, in which Mr. Magaji SAN threatened Mr. David with legal actions, including reporting him to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), should he not voluntarily relinquish his shares in the Defendant companies.

Subsequently, Mr. David was summoned by the Commissioner of Police, FCT, and under pressure, relinquished his shares on July 2, 2019, leading to a new legal retainer agreement between the parties. Upon the retainer’s expiry, Mr. David served a bill of charges to the Defendants, which prompted another round of threats from Mr. Magaji SAN in a letter dated October 4, 2022.

In response to these threats and the subsequent professional misconduct, Mr. David filed a petition to the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on October 17, 2022, citing “Complaints of Brief Snatching, Intimidation, Harassment and Threat to My Means of Livelihood Against Mr. Mahmud Abubakar Magaji, SAN Urgent Demand for Your Intervention.” Instead of addressing the petition, Mr. Magaji SAN retaliated by instigating a counter-petition against Mr. David through the Defendants to the NBA on April 4, 2023.

Despite compelling evidence presented by Mr. David, the NBA’s inaction forced him to seek judicial redress through an originating summons, appearing in person while M.A. Mahmud & Co represented the Defendants.

Justice K.N. Ogbonnaya, in her wisdom, addressed all questions raised in favor of the Claimant. The judgement not only affirmed the legal and ethical standing of Mr. David but also set a significant precedent in protecting legal practitioners from undue influence and harassment by clients and their representatives.

The judgement delivered by Justice K.N. Ogbonnaya is a testament to the integrity and independence of the judiciary. It underscores the importance of upholding contractual agreements and protecting the professional rights of legal practitioners. Mr. David’s victory is a milestone in the legal community, reinforcing the principle that justice must prevail over intimidation and coercion.

The courage and fairness exhibited by Hon. Justice K.N. Ogbonnaya in this case serve as an inspiration and a beacon of hope for practitioners who may face similar challenges in the course of their professional duties. This ruling not only provides Mr. David with the justice he sought but also strengthens the ethical framework within which legal professionals operate in Nigeria. (NAN) (

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