Drama of “BREAKFAST” 2

NOTICE: If you have not read Episode 18, kindly do so before reading this for proper understanding.

(Early morning on the following day by 7.am, Barrister Ojulari had arrived at his Chambers, the normal time he usually do, to do his early morning reading and cognitive exercise before going to Court. Mr. Mellow joins him to continue their last discussion.)

BARR. OJULARI: It seems you are very serious on this lady’s matter. You are here as this as early. But if not for you, I don’t attend to Clients at this time. I always use this time to be beneficial to myself.

MR. MELLOW: But I’m not your Client, I’m your Boss! Before we get in to the legal business, I bought you this Non-Alcoholic wine when I went to Germany last week.

BARR. OJULARI: Huh! Thanks! It this not Non-Alcoholic Azul?

MR. MELLOW: Yes o! You gerrit mehn!

BARR. OJULARI: Thanks Bobo. Hope you did as I advised you yesterday?

MR. MELLOW: Yes o!

BARR. OJULARI: Ok, that lady that you are talking about, was there any clear statement of agreement between the both of you that you will get married? I mean was it not only boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that’s between you?

MR. MELLOW: Not ordinary boyfriend-Girlfriend level of relationship o, in fact, I told her I want to marry her as my wife, and she agreed!

BARR. OJULARI: What conditions did she gave you then, when you proposed marriage to her?

MR. MELLOW: She did not give me any condition.

BARR. OJULARI: Okay, I just asked you that because, if she gave you a condition and you are not yet able to meet up with her condition, you can never say that she has agreed to marry you.

MR. MELLOW: Why?

BARR. OJULARI: If she told you to firstly do something for her before she could accept your marriage proposal, there is no agreement between the two of your until you have done what she told you to do. [1]

MR. MELLOW: OK! I understand now. She accepted my proposal without any condition.

BARR. OJULARI: Did you force her to agree to marry you?

MR. MELLOW: No!

BARR. OJULARI: Good! Did you trick her to make the promise that she will marry you?

MR. MELLOW: Trick! Like how?

BARR. OJULARI: Maybe you have called yourself what you are not, and she has found the truth. Maybe you told her that you are not married, and she has found out that you are. Or you are calling yourself a Senator or CEO of a particular company to her, and she has known that you are not. Please think about it very well before we go deeper into this case.

MR. MELLOW: No! Why will I be lying to her? There was nothing like that .

BARR. OJULARI: I am asking this because I want your case to be strong. If you have deceived her to make the promise to marry you, she later denounce her promise if she finds out the truth. And if you have forced her to make that promise and accept to marry you, your case of breach of promise will fail. [2]

MR. MELLOW: Abeg! There was nothing like that jor.

BARR. OJULARI: Also, I hope you are sure very well that what is between you is not just a mere friendship? Was there any mutual understanding and meeting of minds between the both of you to have agreed to get married to each other?

MR. MELLOW: Yes na! That is even why I was spending my hard earned money on her. I give her up to 200k every month for the upkeep of herself and her family, I bear the cost of her and family hospital expenses, I pay her younger brother’s school fees and I eventually sent her to the U.K to do her Masters degree. But now, she serve me a hot breakfast thinking I am a fool.

BARR. OJULARI: Calm down please! I asked you that because the intention of the both of you must be objective and not subjective, in a way that a reasonable person will see it as a promise to create a legal marital relationship, not a mere cohabitation.

MR. MELLOW: I can never doubt you barrister.

BARR. OJULARI: We have only two things to prove in Court.

MR. MELLOW: Nice one, she go collect!

BARR. OJULARI: The first thing is to be able to prove to the satisfaction of the Court that there was a promise to marry under relevant law between the both of you. [3]

MR. MELLOW: In think you are satisfied what I have supplied you now?

BARR. OJULARI: Even if I am satisfied, I must still obtain some material evidence from you to prove your case in court [4]

MR. MELLOW: Material evidence like what? I am ready to provide any evidence that can prove my case against that lady, I must send a signal to other ladies like her. But I’m afraid, will the Court not dismiss our case, because we don’t have written agreement?

BARR. OJULARI: (Laughs) It needs not to take written agreement before you could have exchange of mutual promise to marry, the conduct of the both of you is enough to agree that you are in a mutual relationship. [5]

MR. MELLOW: Ooo-k!

BARR. OJULARI: Materia evidence I’m talking about is, do you have anything like exchange of love letters, calls record, chats and other form of communication evidence where both of you were professing love to each other?

MR. MELLOW: That one is plenty, I have our WhatsApp chat record and voicenotes. My phone is always on automatic recording, so all our calls are always recorded. We have so much chats on Facebook and other chatting apps. I will provide everything.

BARR. OJULARI: Awesome! Those material evidence will support our case and give it more credence and validity [6]

MR. MELLOW: Hmm! OK!

BARR. OJULARI: Upon all the money you have spent on her, if you have no prove that there is an agreement between the two of you to get married to each other, the law will not give you any remedy [7]

MR. MELLOW: But if I am able to prove it to the Court that she actually promised and agreed to marry me, can the Court order her to leave her new husband and marry me? Because! Omo! I like this lady so much!

BARR. OJULARI: (Smiles) The Court cannot order SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE to her to marry you, the Court can only give that order for a purpose that can be achieved or enforceable, lest, the Court can not make a decree in vain. [8]

MR. MELLOW: So the Court can not order her to marry me after all these evidence!

BARR. OJULARI: Yes! You can only be awarded compensation as a way of damages for breach of promise to marry! [9] You will be awarded GENERAL DAMAGES against her because she has hurt your feeling, wounded your pride, and for making you to loose consortium with her.

MR. MELLOW: That is not bad!

BARR. OJULARI: Again, you can also be awarded SPECIFIC DAMAGES to redeem all your financial loss, and recover all the money that you have spent on her or her family.

MR. MELLOW: That is not bad too!

BARR. OJULARI: The second thing that we have to prove to the Court is that, the Lady we are talking about has failed to honour the obligations of her promise, that she has reneged it and fail to fulfill her promise to marry you. [10]

MR. MELLOW: Of course , she has failed to fulfil it. She has gotten married to another person.

BARR. OJULARI: Yes, had it been that you have fixed a date for marriage and she does not show up for the wedding venue, that is NON-PERFORMANCE type of Breach of promise to marry. But this is not applicable here[11].

MR. MELLOW: Yes it is not.

BARR. OJULARI: What happens in this instant case is ANTICIPATORY breach of promise to marry, because she has eloped to marry another person leaving you alone[12].

MR. MELLOW: Yes o! She has served me breakfast, a hot one!

BARR. OJULARI: Sorry for the loss, but congratulations in advance, you will be rolling in millions soon after the Court gives you compensation.

(The love that once bound these two people and now got frosted can be likened to verse XXXV of Shakespeare “Sonnets” a sort of lamentation, and also verse 1 of “Passionate Pilgrim”. Thus we have in this case so much love and then so much pain. It is the way of the world”[13].)

To be Continued, If Allah wishes.

REFERENCE(S)

[1]. FGN & Ors V. Zebra Energy Ltd. (2002) LPELR-3172 (SC) p42-43 para F-B); See also, Bilante Intl. Ltd. V. NDIC (2011) LPELR-781(SC) p28 Para C-F

[2]. Retrieved on < http://www.alliancelf.com/breach-of-promise-of-marriage-a-legal-perspective/#_ftnref28> accessed on 15/08/2022

[3] Ezennah V. Atta (2003) 2 SC (pt. 11) p.75

[4] Section 197, Evidence Act, 2011

[5] Aiyede V Norman-William (1960) LLR 253

[6] (Iko V. State (2001) LPELR-1480 (SC) at 13 E-F

[7] Ezennah V Attack Supra

[8] Help (Nig) Ltd V. Silver Anchor (Nig) Ltd (2006) LPELR – 1361 (SC) p.21, Paras B-C; See also, MRS OLAWEPO V. HEBN PUBLISHER, SUIT NO:IB/41/2018

[9] Uso V. Iketuboshin (1997) WRLNR 183; See also MARTINS V. ADENUGBA (1946) 18 N.L.R 63 and MABAMIJE V. OTTO (2016) LPELR 26058 (SC.

[10] Ezennah v attack supra

[11]. Retreived from https://guardian.ng/features/the-breach-of-promise-to-marry-and-its-legal-consequences/ accessed on 16/8/2022

[12] Retreived from https://guardian.ng/features/the-breach-of-promise-to-marry-and-its-legal-consequences/ accessed on 16/8/2022

[13]. Per PATS-ACHOLONU JSC in EZEANAH V. ATTA (supra)

ABDULRAUF Abdullahi Adebayo, is a Law student, a Certified Teacher and a Writer. He can be reached via 09034904883 and [email protected]

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