Frustration of Leasehold Contracts in Nigeria – A Case Review on the Tenets Espoused in Araka V. Monier Construction Company - Lessons in the Pandemic Era
10 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2022
Date Written: March 6, 2022
The manifest twist and turns that emerge from the negotiation, conclusion and enforcement of contracts seldom come up when everything goes as contemplated and agreed by the parties. These readily foreseeable outcomes are easily accommodated as they were largely anticipated. The cookie begins to crumble when for certain uncontemplated and unforeseeable circumstances both parties find themselves unable to perform their respective obligations due under the contract – and then each rummages through the contract and tries to latch on any term to advance their claims for a breach of the contract with attendant remedies. The Supreme Court in Araka v. Monier Construction Company over three decades ago saw the need to enforce and expound the doctrine of frustration of contracts, being an offshoot of the legal consequences posed by the Biafra Civil War, after a long drawn legal sojourn from the High Court to the apex Court. This paper seeks to critically review the doctrines espoused in the locus classicus case and reflect upon them in the COVID-19 legal regime, where contracts, then and now, are fraught with the same matrix of facts and circumstances and proffers solutions on how the courts would eventually adjudicate upon same.
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