AN APPRAISAL OF THE CONCEPT AND SCOPE OF AGENCY RELATIONSHIP UNDER THE NIGERIAN COMMERCIAL LAW (MASS COMMUNICATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
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.
General, 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. However, the law does to dissuade a person from employing the services of another to negotiate or conclude a contract on his behalf. The employer may lack the expertise or skill of the trade, business or profession, the knowledge or experience of a particular market, area or commodity or may simply be too busy with the other matters to conclude the contract himself. Obviously, a limited liability company or even a partnership being an artificial person cannot contract for itself, but, must rely on human beings to be its mind and body for the purpose of making its contracts. So the law meets these needs of business through the concept of agency.
The law which governs agency relationship in Nigeria is the received English law particularly the common law and equity. The law itself primarily deals with the relationship which arises where one person expressly or impliedly employs another or is by law deemed to have employed such person to perform some tasks for and or his behalf…..