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NATURE OF SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE AND WHEN IT WILL BE GRANTED

Dictum

The appellant, with the above position as depicted, desires to have specific performance of the agreement between it and the 1st respondent ordered by the court in its favour. Specific performance has been defined in Black’s Law Dictionary Ninth Edition at page 1529 as ‘the rendering, as nearly as practicable, of a promised performance through a judgment or decree; a court ordered remedy that requires precise fulfilment of a legal or contractual obligation when monetary damages are inappropriate or inadequate, as when sale of real estate or a rare article is involved. Specific performance is an equitable remedy that lies within the court’s discretion to award whenever the common law remedy is insufficient.’ In making an order for specific performance, the court must exercise its discretion judicially and judiciously as well. The Judge has to be discreet and balance the interest of both sides properly in his bid to do justice to the contending parties. See: (University of Lagos v. Olaniyan (1985) 16 NSCC (Pt. 1) 98, 113; Eronini v. Iheuko (1989) 2 NSCC (Pt.1) 503, 513; (1980) 3 SC (Pt.1) 30.

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

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THERE MUST BE PART PERFORMANCE TO WARRANT SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE

On the issue of whether the appellant established sufficient acts of part performance to support and order for specific performance, it is the view of the court below that there had been no part performance to warrant a specific performance. I have myself considered all the evidence led before the court but can find no reason to fault this finding. At all events, whether or not part performance was established by the appellant in this case cannot now be regarded as any matter of great moment. This is because of my finding that there can be no specific performance of an agreement for a lease such as Exhibit A when the parties had not reached a consensus ad idem on vital issues such as the commencement date. The covenant, rent and mode of determination of the lease among others.

– Iguh JSC. Nlewedim v. Uduma (1995)

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SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE REQUIRES EXACT PERFORMANCE OF A CONTRACT

Specific performance is the remedy of requiring exact performance of a contract in the specific form in which it was made or according to the precise terms agreed upon. It is the actual accomplishment of a contract by a party bound to fulfill it.

— A. Fabiyi, J.S.C. Ibekwe v. Nwosu (2011) – SC.108/2006

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SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE OF CONTRACT OF SERVICE

The general rule is that the court will not grant specific performance of a contract of service. It therefore follows that a declaration to the effect that a contract of service still subsists is rarely made unless there are special circumstances to warrant making such a declaration. For example, where the contract of service has a legal or statutory flavour thus putting it over and above the ordinary master and servant relationship or where a special legal status such as a tenure of public office is attached to the contract of employment, in these circumstances, a court may use its discretion to declare that a contract of service still subsists. See: Olaniyan v. University of Lagos (2001) FWLR (Pt. 56) 808, (1985) 2 NWLR (Pt. 9) 559; Ewarami v. African Continental Bank Ltd. (1978) 4 SC 99 and Shitta-Bey v. Federal Public Service Commission (1981) 1 SC 40. –

Muhammad JCA. Osumah v. EBS (2004)

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SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT

It is settled law that in an action for breach of contract in which claim for specific performance is made, there must be a valid, solid and existing and enforceable contract. The contract and the terms must be unequivocal and not based on the realm of conjecture. Similarly, the parties to the contract must have understood one another that they were entering a binding contract. Also, a party seeking to enforce a contract must show that all the conditions precedent have been fulfilled and that he has either performed, or is ready to perform all the terms which ought to have been performed by him. Again, where time is of essence or a condition precedent expressly or impliedly stated, and he is guilty of delay in performing his own part of the agreement, then such delay could count against him and might bar his claim for specific performance.

– Sanusi JCA. Enejo v. Nasir (2006)

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WHAT IS SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE?

What then is specific performance? It is the rendering as nearly as practicable of a promised performance through a judgment or decrees; a court ordered remedy that requires precise fulfilment of a legal or contractual obligation when monetary damages are inappropriate or inadequate as when the sale of real estate or a rare article is involved. In essence the remedy of specific performance enforces the execution of a contract according to its terms. (Black’s Law Dictionary, Ninth Edition page 1528).

— J.A. Fabiyi, JSC. BFI v. Bureau PE (2012) – SC.12/2008

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