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Judging Matters episode eleven: Disappointments, settling debts and covering shame

Justice Olusola Williams and general counsel, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu continue to find solutions to everyday disputes. Although many of these issues may appear to be small for a regular court, they are showing us with each episode that the fastest and surest way to settle certain conflicts is by handling it with the law.

On this episode of Judging Matters, the tag-team helped a disgruntled customer and a betrayed trader.

Case One: John vs Richard

John had been patronizing his tailor, Richard, for two years before he was disappointed. He needed an outfit for an event, so he approached his tailor and told him that it had to be ready in one week. Richard agreed that he could make it and collected the sum of N80,000 to buy the material and another N10,000 out of the N25,000 for sewing the cloth.

When John returned a week later, the outfit was not yet ready, so he asked for a refund. John immediately returned the N10,000, his fee for sewing and asked for some time to pay back the N80,000 since he had already bought some of the material needed. John agreed to give him some time, but Richard failed to meet up or come up with any form of payment plan.

Richard acknowledged that he received the N90,000, paid back N10,000 and asked for some time to repay the outstanding. He also admitted that he had disappointed John even though he didn’t mean to. He added that he was going to pay him back as soon as someone buys off the fabric from him.

Justice Olushola asked how long he expected John to wait for his refund, and he had no definite time. After conferring briefly with Ebuka, she made her judgement in favour of John, the claimant, for the sum of N80,000.

Case Two: Madam Chinonso vs Emmanuel Ndukwo

Madam Chinonso sells drinks around the neighbourhood Emmanuel used to run his business. She had developed some rapport with him, so when he asked to buy drinks for his church’s Christmas party. He promised to come back and pay for them, so she didn’t think much of it.

She agreed to sell the drinks and was bringing them out when he left and asked some younger boys to pick it up without taking his receipt. She waited until the end of his church programme before she called him. She said that his number was switched off and it stayed that way for some days.

When Ebuka asked Emmanuel what happened, he said that he had been expecting some money and he thought he would have been able to pay back. When he realised, he wasn’t going to be able to pay, he was ashamed. About five days after he bought the drinks, he asked someone to help him talk to Madam Chinonso. It was then he found out she had reported him to his Pastor, and he was kicked out of the space he was using in church for his business.

He agreed that he had bought the drinks without telling Madam Chinonso that he was still expecting the money. Justice Olusola then said that he just wanted to look good in church with money he didn’t have. She advised that he should find a way to pay Madam Chinonso for her drinks and gave judgment in her favour for the sum of N62,000.

This episode taught us to always issue/receive receipts, depending on what side of the transaction you are on. It also taught us to avoid making promises we know we can’t keep and to avoid living above our means.

You can learn more life lessons on new episodes of Judging Matters every Monday at 6:00 PM on Africa Magic Showcase CH 151. If you missed a previous episode catch the repeat on the same channel on Wednesdays at 5:00 PM.

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