By Chris Onuoha
A Nigerian businessman Kelechi Ojukwu has dragged Coscharis Motors Limited to Lagos High/Magistrate Court Eti-Osa in Ajah, Lagos for breach of contract and detaining his car.
The Eti-Osa Magistrate Court presided over by Magistrate A. A Famobiwo however, advised the parties to give consideration to resolving the matter out of court as requested by the defense counsel.
The Magistrate Famobiwo gave this advise when the ‘Originating Summons’ filed by the claimants counsel came up for trial before the court on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
According to the Court documents, the claimant prayed the court, directing the defendant (Coscharis Motors Limited) to release forthwith his car, a BMW-X5, SUV -2000CC with identification number, AA A 973 FK which has been unlawfully detained from the claimant since November 10, 2020, and to refund the sum of N319,549.00 (Three hundred and nineteen thousand, five hundred and forty nine naira) paid to the defendant as part of car servicing cost, N2,000,000.00 (Two million naira), as general damages and N200,000.00 (Two hundred thousand naira) as being the cost of the suit.
The claimant stated that the car which was purchased in Canada in good condition and shipped to Nigeria for personal use later developed a recurring fault of “not starting” after being parked for a period of time.
According to claimant, Coscharis Motors, being the authorised distributor of BMW cars in Nigeria was contacted, and the car was driven by one of their staff to their workshop at Awoyaya, Lekki Expressway, Lagos State for diagnosis and test.
He stated that the defendant, through its service advisory, Judith Thompson, acknowledged the reception of the car by email and on conclusion of diagnosis, forwarded estimated cost for repair to the tune of N456,499.42 (Four hundred and fifty six thousand, four hundred and ninety nine naira); that upon receiving the Pro-forma invoice for the cost, 70% of the deposit was paid totalling N319, 549.00 on November 21, 2020.
He also stated that after about a week later, he received another email message from the defendant, that the car has not been fixed, while asking for more time to consult their partners for advice. And on December 10, 2020, he got another email from the defendant that more faults were discovered with an attachment of another Pro-forma invoice for the sum of N1, 391,273.95 (One million, three hundred and ninety one thousand, two hundred and seventy three naira and ninety five kobo).
The claimant, according to the statement, refuted the defendant’s assertion of new discoveries with an additional cost, while demanding that his car be returned to him in the original state that it was met and picked from his residence. He also demanded that the initial deposit of N319, 549.00 be refunded to him by the defendant.
The claimant claims that the defendant refused to respond to series of telephone calls for explanation; and upon that refused to refund the money or release the car to him. He stated that, having waited for the release of his car to no avail, up till December 16, 2020, he then resolved to seek redress in the court.
However, the presiding Magistrate, Famobiwo, adjourned the case to April 6, 2021 for trial, if the parties exhaust the option of out of court settlement.