Nigerian Lawyer Sues Oxford University Over Wrong Dictionary Definitions
A legal practitioner, Ogedi Ogu, has a bone to pick with the Oxford University Press.
He has filed a N10m lawsuit against Oxford University Press, publisher of Oxford Dictionary, over an alleged wrongful definition of the words “mortgagee’’ and “mortgagor” in the dictionary.
The first defendant in the suit filed before the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere is the University of Oxford, while Oxford University Press was joined as the second defendant.
In his statement of claim, Ogu claimed that he was embarrassed and suffered a loss of reputation as a lawyer when he relied on the definitions of the words in the Oxford Dictionary, which, he claimed, were found to be incorrect.
According to him, in the Oxford Mini Reference Dictionary and the Oxford English Mini Dictionary, which he purchased in 2005 and 2006 respectively, the word “mortgagee’’ was defined as the borrower in a mortgage transaction, while “mortgagor’’ was defined as the lender.
According to him, Oxford Dictionary mixed up the meanings of the two words.
Ogu, in his statement of claim, said he relied on the definitions while offering a legal advice to a professional colleague, who later pointed out to him that the definitions were wrong.
According to him, his professional colleague drew his attention to the correct position in many other dictionaries apart from Oxford, which defines the word “mortgagee” to be the lender and “mortgagor” to be the borrower.
Ogu claimed that he had since suffered a loss of professional respect among his colleagues, as his legal advice was no longer being sought.
He said on account of this, he instructed his lawyer, Emmanuel Ofoegbu, to write a pre-litigation letter to University of Oxford and Oxford University Press on November 4, 2016, seeking redress.