Daily Law Tips (Tip 599) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

WILL COURTS CONSIDER SMS, EMAILS AND LETTERS AS PART OF AGREEMENTS?

An agreement can be written or oral. Although, the courts are not omniscience, they are often invited to determine disputes arising from agreements that they were not part of. So, what then are the documents that courts evaluate in determining disputes arising from agreements? Below are the words of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on this issue.

“It must always be borne in mind and this is also settled firstly that where a contract (which includes contract of employment), involves several documents, the trial court can only determine the issues before it, on the basis of the documents including letters relating to the contract and the conduct of the parties. See the cases of the Attorney-General of Kaduna State v. Atta (1986) 4 NWLR (Pt. 38) 785 C.A. and Leyland (Nig.) Ltd. v. Dizengoff W.A. (1990) 2 NWLR (Pt. 134) 610 at 620.”
Per, IKECHI FRANCIS OGBUAGU ,J.S.C ( P. 39, paras. B-D ) CBN V IGWILLO
(2007) LPELR-835(SC)

Obviously, courts make inferences on oral and written evidences as well as conducts of parties. Aside written agreements, courts will always consider letters, SMS and emails relating to the contract of parties.

My authority is:

1. The Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of CBN V IGWILLO (2007) LPELR-835(SC)

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