LIQUIDATED MONEY DEMAND – WHAT IS? – FACTORS DETERMINANT OF A LIQUIDATED SUM
CASE CITATION: A.T.S. & SONS & 3 ORS. v. BEN ELECTRONICS CO. NIG. LTD.(2018) 6 S.C. (Pt. I) 37 @ 91
DATE OF JUDGMENT: FRIDAY 1ST DAY OF JUNE, 2018
COURT: SUPREME COURT
SUIT NO: SC. 226/2013
CORAM: OLABODE RHODES-VIVOUR, JSC – (Presided)
MARYUKAEGO PETER-ODILI, JSC
JOHN INYANG OKORO, JSC – (Delivered the Leading Judgment)
AMIRU SANUSI, JSC
ISSUE(S): LIQUIDATED MONEY DEMAND – WHAT IS? – FACTORS DETERMINANT OF A LIQUIDATED SUM.
“My Lords, the question may be asked: what is liquidated money demand? This court has given a clear definition or exposition on the issue in the case of Dr. Oladipo Maja v. Mr. Costa Samouris (2002) 3 S.C. 37 at Page 12, Lines 15-30 by Iguh, JSC:
“A liquidated demand is a debt or other specific sum of money usually due and payable and its amount must be already ascertained or capable of being ascertained as a mere matter of arithmetic without any other or further investigation. Whenever, therefore, the amount to which a Plaintiff is entitled can be ascertained by calculation or fixed by any scale of charges or other positive data, it is said to be liquidated’ or made clear. Again, where the parties to a contract, as part of the agreement between them, fix the amount payable on the default of one of them or in the event of breach by way of damages, such sum is classified as liquidated damages where it is in the nature of a genuine pre-estimate of the damage which would arise from breach of the contract so long as the agreement is not obnoxious as to constitute a “penalty” and it is payable by the party in default. The term is also applied to sums expressively made payable as liquidated damages under a statute.”
From the above definition, the factors determining a liquidated sum may be stated as follows:-
- The sum must be arithmetically ascertained or ascertainable without further investigation.
- If it is in reference to contract, the parties to the same must have mutually and unequivocally agreed on a fixed amount payable on breach.
- The agreed and fixed amount must be known prior to the breach.
– A.T.S. & SONS & 3 ORS. v. BEN ELECTRONICS CO. NIG. LTD. (2018) 6
S.C. (Pt. I) 37 @ 91 – click HERE to read full judgment