Former world boxing champion Herbie Hide facing new court fight
PUBLISHED: 06:49 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:12 20 June 2020
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2008
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Herbie Hide is facing a courtroom fight over land he had purchased to develop in Nigeria which turned out to belong to someone else.
The two-time world heavyweight champion, who lives in Bawburgh, near Norwich, had bought a plot of land in the Guzape district of Abuja, Nigeria back in 2015.
The 48-year-old paid forty million Nigerian Naira, more than £80,000, for the land which he had attempted to take possession of and start developing only to find out the land belonged to someone else.
Mr Hide requested a refund from Muniru Mohammed Mai, who works with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), although no money has been forthcoming.
The former boxer consulted Nigerian-based solicitor Charles Omang Omang who has filed a civil lawsuit in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in the Abuja Judicial Division to recover the money he has paid for the land.
The case, which has been mentioned on June 10, was adjourned for a definite hearing on June 29 when it is expected the matter will be resolved.
Court papers seen by this newspaper reveal details of the writ of summons served on Mr Mai which states that Mr Hide is claiming the defendant “immediately pay the sum of forty million Naira to the claimant (Mr Hide) as money had and received from the claimant by the defendant for a plot of land which the defendant (Mr Mai) has no valid title to transfer to the claimant”.
The papers outline how in 2015 Mr Hide had met the defendant who said he owned a plot of land, known as Plot 296, in Guzape, Abuja.
It goes onto state how Mr Mai, who claimed he had bought the land in March 2013, “insisted” that Mr Hide pay forty million Naira for the plot of land.
The papers state that on November 6 2016 Mr Hide transferred the total sum in “four tranches of ten million Naira” and thereafter he attempted to “commence development” but was confronted by someone else who said the land belonged to them.
Mr Hide was said to be “shocked and dumbfounded” when the third party “laid serious claim to the land and even produces his documents to show the land belonged to him”.
The former boxer has requested the defendant to return the money but has been told to “go and sort myself out with whoever is claiming ownership to the land”.
The land has since been taken over by someone else, leaving Mr Hide to fight for what he is owed, stating “the defendant received money from me and failed to give me value for the money he received from me”.
The court appearance later this month comes following Mr Hide’s conviction and imprisonment in 2013 after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine following a sting operation engineered by Mazhr Mahmod.
Mr Hide, whose defence lawyers insisted he was entrapped, did manage to get the sentence cut from 22 months to 18 months on appeal before Mahmood himself was jailed for tampering with evidence in the collapsed drugs trial of pop star Tulisa Contostavlos.
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