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The Law Forbids Getting A Haircut In Absentia (law & Society) - Politics - Nairaland

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The Law Forbids Getting A Haircut In Absentia (law & Society) by CoolKizzy(m): 6:22pm On Mar 26, 2018
I saw this on Facebook and would like to get learned opinions from here...


THE LAW FORBIDS GETTING A HAIRCUT IN ABSENTIA (LAW & SOCIETY)

There is a saying that you cannot give someone a haircut while he is not there with you. That saying brings to mind the doctrine of PRIVITY OF CONTRACT, which provides that a party cannot acquire rights or be subject to liabilities arising under a contract to which he is not a party. These days, it is not uncommon to see persons knocking at your gate, demanding for payment of rates and levies supposedly agreed upon behind your back by ‘every landlord and tenant on this street’, with respect to one bogus communal project or the other.

When Mr. QB finished erecting his building on Fortune Street, he got himself a private electric-pole, did the normal electrical wiring and got Township Electricity Corporation (TEC) to install a digital meter for him. Then, happily, he moved into his beautiful house with his happy family. But his joy was short-lived. On his third evening in his new house, he had a visit from a group of five men who called themselves the executive members of Landlords Association of Fortune Street (LAFS).

‘Congrats on your new house, sir,’ the man who introduced himself as the Chairman of the Association told Mr. QB. ‘It’s not easy at all. I must assure you that you’re most fortunate to be on Fortune Street.’ And he laughed with self-satisfaction at what he believed to be his clever use of pun, and his companions laughed too in solidarity. Mr. QB, however, was not able to catch the joke as he was now on the alert, eager to learn what these fellows’ mission was.

‘I’m sure you’re wondering why we’re here,’ said Mr. Chairman, reading Mr. QB’s thought. ‘Well, I’m sure you know that this is a relatively new neighbourhood, except that it is growing quite fast. Five years ago when I moved into my own house, my family and I were the only ones on this street. It was up to six months before we started having neighbours, and then before you could say JACK ROBINSON the street had started teeming with people. Our biggest problem at that initial time was light. The transformer that Township Electricity Corporation (TEC) gave to the street was too small to cater for the growing population, so we the landlords of the street decided to form an association. By the way, we thank God that we now have a new member in you.’ And he laughed again. ‘So, as I was saying, the Landlords Association of Fortune Street - LAFS, for short - decided that the only way to cure the epileptic power supply we were experiencing would be to buy a big transformer for the street. We applied to TEC but the Manager told us in confidence that if we decided to wait for the government, we would wait forever. So, we teamed up and secured a loan of N10 million, with which we purchased that big transformer which you can see over there. We bought and donated it to TEC…’

Mr. QB looked from one man to the other and saw greed written on their faces. They were clearly sizing him up for the kill and Mr. Chairman did not appear to be in a hurry to hit the nail on the head. But, at last, he did.

‘So, we divided that loan of N10 million among the landlords on our street and it came out as N150,000 for each landlord. As a new landlord on Fortune Street, you have to pay your own N150,000 to be entitled to tap light. N150,000 only.’

‘Only! Look, even if it is only N150, it is still money, and I’m not in the habit of throwing money away,’ Mr. QB told them. ‘I was not a party to that transaction you’re now telling me about, so I don’t know about its genuineness. For instance, I don’t know the statistics of the landlords of this street and how you arrived at your figure of N10 million, or the year that you guys even secured the said loan…’

‘It was three years ago that we got the loan,’ one of the men began to answer but Mr. Chairman cut him short angrily and said: ‘Look, Mr. Man, I thought you were a gentleman, but it appears you’re a trouble-maker. Let me tell you, the time that the transformer was purchased is none of your business. And I’m not going to stand here and waste my precious time giving you the statistics of the landlords on Fortune Street. Okay? Our mission here is simply to tell you that the transformer serving Fortune Street was bought through communal effort, and you cannot use light from it without paying your N150,000 to us. Period! So, when you’re ready to pay for your light, this is the account number to pay into.’ And he tossed a piece of paper down at Mr. QB’s feet and stormed out, motioning to his men to follow him.

That same evening, two young men who claimed to be acting under the instruction of the Landlords Association of Fortune Street (LAFS), climbed Mr. QB’s electric pole and disconnected his light. Being a law-abiding citizen, Mr. QB refrained from taking the law into his hands. Instead, he consulted his lawyer and instructed him to file an action against LAFS.

At the hearing of Mr. QB’s suit against the Landlords Association of Fortune Street - LAFS, although many witnesses came to testify in favour of the Defendants that the said ‘light levy’ of N150,000 was ‘genuine’, the Defendants were not able to produce concrete documents evidencing that the transformer in question was purchased by the private citizens who laid claim to it.

‘My lord, sir, the staff of Township Electricity Corporation (TEC) who acted as go-between for us in that deal said that transformers of that size were never sold to private citizens,’ said one of the defence witnesses in his evidence. ‘We were not interested at that time in documenting anything because the transformer was actually meant as a donation by our Association to TEC. But we decided that every in-coming member of our Association must pay that sum of N150,000 to compensate those who initially coughed out the huge purchase price of the transformer, because one thing is certain: if we had decided to wait for the government to give us light, we would probably have been waiting up till today… Yes, there was an Agreement among us that every new landlord/landlady must pay that “light levy” of N150,000, irrespective of the fact that he or she was not part of the decision…’

But Plaintiff’s counsel knocked the entire bottom out of the argument of defence by establishing that Plaintiff was by no means a party to the decision of LAFS to buy and donate a transformer to a whole government parastatal. It was the argument of learned counsel to Plaintiff that, by the doctrine of PRIVITY OF CONTRACT, the law does not allow for persons who are not parties to an Agreement to be bound by same. He further argued: ‘Assuming, but not conceding, that the Defendants truly donated the transformer in question to government, that does not extinguish the fact that the supply of electricity for the populace is a primary duty of the government. A “donation” is a gift and, therefore, it is illegal for Defendants to hold Plaintiff (a third party) to ransom on account of their so-called donation to government, by debarring him from enjoying such a basic amenity as light which is due to him as a taxpayer…’

At the close of hearing, finding was in favour of Plaintiff. Defendants were ordered by court to restore Plaintiff’s electricity supply forthwith, and pay cost of his action against them assessed as N200,000 as well as a further N200,000 General Damages… for, by the doctrine of PRIVITY OF CONTRACT, the law recognizes that a fellow cannot be given a haircut in absentia.

(www.avemariapublications.com/download/)

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=673272452860556&id=100005334224951

3 Likes

Re: The Law Forbids Getting A Haircut In Absentia (law & Society) by e7ejinima: 8:06pm On Mar 26, 2018
Interesting! I learnt from this. Tnx op
Re: The Law Forbids Getting A Haircut In Absentia (law & Society) by CoolKizzy(m): 10:15pm On Mar 26, 2018
e7ejinima:
Interesting! I learnt from this. Tnx op

I learnt from it too, I was hoping some legal practitioners in the house could help us demystify this

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