Popular Nigerian billionaire prince, Arthur Eze, has been sued for £1.8 million by a couple who claimed they were left stranded after he pulled out of buying their £5million mansion.
Daily Mail reports that the couple, identified as Richard and Deborah Conway, told a High Court that they were left stranded after Prince Eze pulled out of buying their £5million mansion.
According to them, they were already committed to buying a house in Cambridge and had to take out an expensive bridging loan when the deal with Prince Eze was no longer tenable.
The couple claims they were forced to sell their home at a reduced price of £4.2 million, and are suing the prince to recover losses as well as “family expenses”.
However Prince Eze, who is said to be worth £2 billion, denied breaching his contract with the couple. He has also counter-sued Mr. and Mrs Conway for the return of a £500,000 deposit.
Mr Conway, 62, said he and his wife wanted to “pay off all our debts and start again” with an eye on retirement when they put their home up for sale for £5 million.
Their lawyer, Matthew Collings, said: “It was necessary for them to obtain bridging finance to fill the huge hole left by Prince Eze’s failure to complete, and failure to pay the balance of the purchase price.”
The court heard they exchanged contracts for the nine-bedroom home in August 2015, but Prince Eze had been acting through a “go-between” and had never seen the house.
The 62-year-old prince, the founder of oil firm Atlas Oranto Petroleum, paid a 10 per cent deposit of £500,000 but now alleges the deal was void because the Conways agreed to pay the agent a “secret commission” to secure the sale.
The Conways, who denied any inappropriate conduct, said the agent contacted them initially without Prince Eze’s knowledge and later raised the prospect of a £75,000 agent’s fee.
They claim the agent then “threatened to scupper the deal” unless he was paid.
Testifying in court, Prince Eze said he had good intentions when he agreed to buy the house; stressing that he wanted “a genuine investment in the UK”.
“I wasn’t concerned about the price but I was concerned about people being open,” he said.
“I thought there was something funny going on,” he added.
The Prince rejected a suggestion he had pulled out of the deal because of a drastic drop in oil prices.
Judge Andrew Keyser QC reserved his judgement to a later date