WHAT GOVERNS CONTRACT IN NIGERIA?

Apart from the express terms contained in a contract, there may be terms implied by the usage or custom of a particular trade unless they are exclusively excluded.

CHAMAN LAW FIRM

6/6/20222 min read

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WHAT GOVERNS CONTRACT IN NIGERIA?

The commercial and economic activities of any nation as Nigeria consist very mainly of agreement. Once there is a mutuality of purpose and intention, there exists a valid contract. Apart from the express terms contained in a contract, there may be terms implied by the usage or custom of a particular trade unless they are exclusively excluded. In line with the common law system operating in the country, there is presumably an intention to enter into legal relations which makes the agreement of parties actionable. However, intention to enter into legal relations has nothing to do with trade contract emanating from purely domestic and social engagements.

It is worthy to note that where a trade agreement is invalidated either by express statutory enactment or by rules of common law, it is illegal. Such contracts are termed illegal and void contracts. Statutes rendering contracts illegal may come in the following ways:

i.) the express prohibition of certain types of contracts;

ii.) the regulation of a particular trade, profession, or the dealings in a particular commodity or resource;

iii.) the protection of a class of persons, public or the promotion of an object of public policy and also;

iv.) revenue raising statutes. Revenue raising statutes make it essential to register businesses in order to improve the earnings of the government.

Examples of such Nigerian Laws are the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, the Finance Act of 2021 amongst others. Various trade establishments have got to comply with the laws regulating trade and trade agreements.

Disputes can occur in trade as a result of mistake, misrepresentation by one or both of the parties, duress, undue influence, lack of capacity to contract amongst others. Disputes can also come up as a result of an unjustifiable failure of a party to perform under the terms of a contract when performance is due, this is termed breach of contract. The injured party mostly takes the matter to court or both parties can maximize Alternative Dispute Resolution method if there exists prior agreement to that effect as the case of ADR clauses or arbitration clauses. Alternative Dispute Resolution method includes dialogue, arbitration, and mediation/conciliation. When a case of breach is taken to court, the aggrieved party often pleads for damages, pray to court for specific performance or seek an injunction to compel some sort of performance by the defaulting party. Individual can explore any or all of the aforementioned remedies.

NB: This article is not a legal advice, and under no circumstance should you take it as such. All information provided are for general purpose only. For information, please contact chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

WRITTEN BY CHAMAN LAW FIRM TEAM

EMAIL: chamanlawfirm@gmail.com

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