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WRONGFULLY TERMINATED CONTRACT

Dictum

Where an employee’s appointment is wrongfully terminated, his remedy lies in an action for damages, because the court cannot force an employer to keep an employee in his services if the employee’s services are no longer required. The normal measure of damages the employee would be entitled to, is what he would have earned over the period of notice required to lawfully terminate his employment. This is consistent with the contract between the parties which has stipulated the measure of damages. See: Onalaja v. African Petroleum Ltd. (1991) 7 NWLR (Pt. 206) 691 ; Taiwo v. Kingsway Stores Ltd. (1950) 19 NLR 122 and Union Bank of Nigeria Ltd. v. Ogboh (1995) 2 NWLR (Pt. 380) 647.

– Muhammad JCA. Osumah v. EBS (2004)

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WHERE CONTRACT IS MADE SUBJECT TO CONDITION PRECEDENT

It is noteworthy that a contract of sale of the nature is guided by the basic rules of contract. Where a contract is made subject to the fulfillment of certain specific terms and conditions the contract is not formed and not binding unless and until those terms and conditions are complied with or fulfilled. Tsokwa Oil Marketing Co. v. B. O. N. Limited (2002) 11 NWLR Pt.777 pg.163.

— Adekeye, JSC. Best Ltd. v. Blackwood Hodge (2011) – SC

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FOUR WAYS IN WHICH CONTRACT MAY BE DISCARDED

Now, it is settled that a valid contract may be discharged in any of the four ways namely: (a) by performance; or (b) by express agreement; or (c) by breach; or (d) by the doctrine of frustration. See Adedeji Vs Obajimi [2018] LPELR-33712(SC); Tsokwa Oil Marketing Company Vs B.O.N. Ltd [2002] 11 NWLR (Pt 777) 163.

— S.O. Adeniyi, J. Nwabueze v. ABU Zaria (2023) – NICN/KD/34/2021

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SUCCEEDING IN A BREACH OF CONTRACT

For a claimant to succeed in an action for breach of contract, he must establish not only that there was a breach but also that there was in existence an enforceable contract which was breached.

— Adekeye, JSC. Best Ltd. v. Blackwood Hodge (2011) – SC

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COURT DOES NOT CONDUCT BARGAIN FOR PARTIES

The appellant having failed to name a price for his ‘injury’ as a solatium, he cannot expect from the court, unsolicited, any succour as the business of this court or of any court for that matter does not include conducting bargain on behalf of any party.

– Olagunju JCA. Ofodile v. COP (2000)

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A FAILED CONTRACT – BREACHED CONTRACT

A contract can be discharged by breach. A breach of contract means that the party in breach has acted contrary to the terms of the contract either by non-performance or by performing the contract not in accordance with its terms or by a wrongful repudiation of the contract. A party who has paid money to another person for a consideration that has totally failed under a contract is entitled to claim the money back from the other.

– Adekeye JSC. Nwaolisah v. Nwabufoh (2011)

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FAILURE TO PERFORM WITHIN TIME IS BREACH OF CONTRACT

Finally the law is that time is of essence where the parties have expressly made it so, or where circumstances show that it is intended to be of essence or where a definite time is fixed for execution of a mercantile and the contract even though time is not expressly made of the essence, thus failure to perform the contract within the limit will constitute a breach. Performance must be rendered within a reasonable in the absence of any specification as to time in the contract itself.

– Adekeye JSC. Nwaolisah v. Nwabufoh (2011)

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