BREACH OF CONTRACT – GUIDING PRINCIPLES ON THE AWARD OF DAMAGES IN A BREACH OF CONTRACT  

 

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01/06/2020 11:51 am  
 
"Indeed, any party to a contract can bring an end a contract but that must be done lawfully and not unilaterally as was done in this case. The right of a party to repudiate a contract is not at the whims and caprices of such a party. If no condition is stated in the contract, a reasonable period of Notice is given to give the other party the opportunity to wind up its services to avoid losses. The Respondents gave 7 days when the payment made was still subsisting and unexhausted. They did not offer to refund nor compensate in damages. They are liable for breach of contracts for which damages is the only remedy. In the case of Cameroon Airline Vs. Otutuizu (2011) LPELR-827(SC) the apex Court restated the principle of awarding damages in breach of contract thus:

 

"A breach of contract means that the party in breach has acted contrary to the terms of the contract in the instant case by performing a contract negligently and not in accordance with its terms. Pan Bisbilder (Nigeria) Ltd. vs. First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. (2000) 1 SC 71. In awarding damages in an action founded on breach of contract, the rule to be applied is restitution in integrum that is, in so far as the damages are not too remote, the plaintiff shall be restored as far as money can do it, to the position in which he would have been if the breach had not occurred. Okongwu vs. N.N.P.C. (1989) 4 NWLR Pt. 115 Pg. 296. Oshin & Oshin Ltd. vs. Livestock Feed Ltd. (1997) 2 NWLR pt.486 pg.162. Udeagu vs. Benue cement co. Plc. (2006) 2 NWLR pt.965 pg.600." Per ADEKEYE ,J.S.C

 

Where the claimant has difficulty in proving special damages in a breach of contract, he can claim in general damages as held in several cases, see SPDC (NIG) Ltd. Vs. Okonedo (2008) 9 NWLR (Pt. 1091) 85 @ 123 – 124 which held:

 

"...it is a settled law, that where a claimant has some difficulty in proving special damages, he may claim general damages for breach of contract, et al, as in the instant case. See International Messengers Nig. Ltd. Vs. Towose (2004) 11 NWLR (Pt. 884) 272 @ 288 paragraphs C - E; Kusfav Vs. UBC Ltd. (1994) 4 NWLR (Pt. 336) 1; Oyo State Vs. Fair Lakes Hotel Ltd. (NO.2) (1989) 5 NWLR (Pt. 121) 255;

 

-PER Y. B. NIMPAR, J.C.A IN GODWIN GEORGE (JP) VS ABAK LOCAL GOVERNMENT suit no: CA/C/151/2018

 
Legalpedia Electronic Citation: (2020) Legalpedia (CA) 11615

 

 


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