Court Awards N2m Against Pastor for Undue Influence, Coverteusness

Court Gavel

Honourable Justice A. F Pokanu of the Lagos High Court has awarded cost of N2m as general and aggravated damages against the pastor of God’s Glory Evangelical Mission, Omotayo Stephen Omole and his wife  Mrs. Modupe Omole for inducing a member of their church to transfer his property to them, against his will.

In the suit with number IKD/10257LMW/2021, a member of the church Mr. James Adebayo Adenuga and his wife Omobolanle Adenuga sought an order of court voiding the deed of transfer signed by the Claimants transferring a portion of the land where they live as gift to the pastor and his wife.

In the statement of claim the Claimants averred that the pastor’s persistent plea, special prayers for their family and fake prophesies induced them into executing the deed of transfer which they thought was to give a portion of the land where they live to the church rather than to the pastor and his wife. It is the claim of the Claimants that immediately after executing the deed of transfer which the pastor did not allow them to read through, the pastor started building his own residential bungalow in the property claiming it was ‘mission house’,  a move which the Claimants resisted and which led to the filing of the suit before the court. In addition to asking the court to void the deed of transfer, the Claimants also sought aggravated damages in the sum of N2m as well as a perpetual injunction restraining the pastor and his wife from entering the property.

On their part, the Defendants denied inducing the Claimants in any form and claimed that the land was voluntarily given to them by the Claimants. The pastor also counter claimed against the claimants seeking an order of court validating the deed of transfer and the sum of N476,000 as cost of repair of the church’s property and instruments damaged by the Claimants.

The learned trial judge entered judgment for the Claimants and voided the deed of transfer of their property to the Defendants. The court also awarded punitive damages of N500, 000 against the Defendants’ counsel A.O Ajala in favour of the Claimants.

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