Failure to reply a business letter can be fatal

Cooperative Dev. Bank Plc. v. Ekanem [2009] 16 NWLR (Pt. 1168) 585 at 601, paras. C-D, per Owoade JCA:

“In relation to the discussion between PW3 and the Appellant’s company secretary, what was left for the learned trial Judge to say as a matter of law is that it is incumbent on a recipient of a business letter to reply as its default to reply can be presumed that it has no objections to the proposals contained therein…”


The principle in the above case does not operate to mean that in cases of contract for instance, silence would automatically mean acceptance of offer. Perhaps, it was in view of this that the Court of Appeal, per Owoade JCA, further explained at p. 601 paras. E-G that “In any event, it is trite that whether there has been an acceptance by one party of an offer made to him by the other may be collected from the words or documents that have passed between them or may be inferred from their conduct.”

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has worked with a number of startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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