AN APPRAISAL OF THE CONCEPT AND SCOPE OF AGENCY RELATIONSHIP UNDER THE NIGERIAN COMMERCIAL LAW

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ABSTRACT


Agency relationship from its origin, presents situation where a person (principal) is bound by the
acts of another (the agent) and he (the principal) takes the rights and obligations arising out of
such relationship is therefore, an exception of the doctrine of privity of contract which generally
disentitles a person from acquiring any right or obligation arising from any contract to which he
is not a party. Agency relationship arises when a person is vested with authority by another to
enter into a legal transaction on his behalf. The two basic ingredients for agency relationship
are authority and consent. However, in the course of this research, the finding of the writer is
that the doctrine of privity of contract disentitles a person from acquiring any right under or
being subjected to any obligation arising from a contract to which he is not a party to the
contract. Thus, a contract cannot confer enforceable rights or impose obligations arising under
it on any person except parties to it, this event, further constituted a statement of problem of the
research. In view of this, the objective of this research is to identify the basic rules of agency
relationship vis-à-vis their adequacy or otherwise in practice. In this regard therefore, the
research finally concluded by recommending that the law should provide an avenue for redress
to genuinely affected persons who the strict common law interpretation of privity of contract
might have deprived of such. Such that even a perfect stranger could be awarded damages if
infringement is proved. The sources of information relied upon here are relevant text materials,
statute, journals (both local and international), judicial authorities and e-materials.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page – – – – – – – – – – i
Declaration – – – – – – – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – – – v
Table of Cases- – – – – – – – – – vi
Table of Statutes – – – – – – – – – ix
Table of Abbreviation- – – – – – – – – x
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – – xi
Abstract – – – – – – – – – – xiv
CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of Research Problem – – – – – – 3
1.3 Aim and Objectives – – – – – – – – 4
1.4 Scope of the Research – – – – – – – 5
1.5 Research Methodology – – – – – – – 5
1.6 Literature Review – – – – – – – – 5
1.7 Justification of the Research – – – – – – – 9
1.8 Organizational Layout – – – – – – – 10
CHAPTER TWO
CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATIONS
2.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 12
2.2 Meaning of Commercial Law – – – – – – – 12
2.3 Meaning of Agency – – – – – – – – 13
2.4 Authority – – – – – – – – – 18
2.4.1 Types of Authority – – – – – – – – 19
2.5 Types of Agent – – – – – – – – 21
2.6 Other Types of Agent – – – – – – – – 31
CHAPTER THREE
THE SCOPE OF AGENCY RELATIONSHIP
3.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 34
3.2 Capacity to act as Principal – – – – – – – 35
3.3 Capacity to be appointed as Agent – – – – – – 38
CHAPTER FOUR
DUTIES, RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF AGENTS
4.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 39
4.2 Agent’s Duties to his Principal – – – – – – 39
4.2.1 Duty to Obey Instructions of the Principal – – – – – 40
4.2.2 Duty to Exercise Due Care and Skills- – – – – – 41
4.2.3 Duty to Act Personally – – – – – – – 43
4.2.4 Duty to Act in Good Faith – – – – – – – 45
4.2.5 Duty to Account – – – – – – – – 48
4.2.6 Duty of Respect Principal’s Title – – – – – – 49
4.3 Right to the Agent or Duties of the Principal to the Agent- – – – 50
4.3.1 Right to Remuneration – – – – – – – 50
4.3.2 Right to Indemnity and Reimbursement – – – – – 53

4.3.3 Right to Lien – – – – – – – – – 55
CHAPTER FIVE
BREACHES OF OBLIGATIONS AND REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO AGENT AND
PRINCIPAL
5.1 Introduction – – – – – – – – – 57
5.2 Breaches of Obligations – – – – – – – 57
5.3 Remedies available to the Principal – – – – – – 59
CHAPTER SIX
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
6.1 Summary of the Research – – – – – – – 63
6.2 Findings – – – – – – – – – 65
6.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – – 66
6.4 Conclusion – – – – – – – – – 67
Bibliography – – – – – – – – – 69

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