By Funmilayo Olagunju
“Frustration is a premature determination of an agreement between parties lawfully entered into, owing to the occurrence of an intervening event, or change of circumstances so fundamental as to be regarded by law both as striking to the root of the agreement and entirely beyond what was contemplated by the parties when they entered into the agreement”
Mazing Engineering Limited v. Tower Aluminum (Nig) Ltd (1993) 5 NWLR (Pt. 295) p 526
It is not every inconvenience or unforseen changes that amounts to frustration. The intervening circumstance must be fundamental and recognized by Law.
In the case of B.O Lewis v. United Bank for Africa Plc (2026) LPELR -40661 (SC), the appellant averred that the termination of his employment by the respondent had frustrated the repayment of the personal loans he took from the respondent who was his previous employer.
The Court held that the employment contract and the contract for personal loans between the parties are two distinct contract with separate subject matter which is not dependent.
Mere hardship, inconvenience or price increase does not constitute frustration. While negotiating and drafting terms of contract, a professional Solicitor would create modest room for unforseen circumstances.
The Supreme Court held in the case of Nwaolisahv. Nwabufoh (2011) LPELR -2115 (SC) held thus:
“A contract is not frustrated merely because its execution becomes more difficult or more expensive that either party originally anticipated and has to be carried out in a manner not envisaged at the time of it’s negotiation”
“When things are going well for you, be glad, and when trouble comes, just remember; God sends both happiness and trouble; you never know what is going to happen next.”
Ecclesiastes 7:14 (GNB).