Classification of estoppel

Classification of estoppel. They are four broad categories

  1. Estoppel by record
  2. Estoppel by conduct
  3. Estoppel by agreement
  4. Estoppel by deed.

Estoppel by records

Section 173 of evidence Act makes provision for the twin aspect of estoppel by record.

  • Action Estoppel
  • Issue Estoppel ; see the case of Hill V. Hill (1954)p.291 (divorce cruelty case)

Estoppel by conduct – Classification of estoppel

Section 169 of the Evidence Act provides for estoppel by conduct. See the case of AG Rivers V. AG Akwa Ibom. The following must be satisfied for the operation of this estoppel.

  • There must have been a conduct or representation capable of being relied on and acted upon. The conduct relied on and acted upon. The conduct relied on as estoppel must have caused another person to believe something to be true and to have altered his position to his detriment by acting on that believe.
  • The representation must have been of the existence of a fact and not of promise in the future or intention which might or might not be enforceable in contract.
  • The believe in the truth of something caused by the declaration, act or omission must be genuine. See the case of Chukwuma V. Ifelonye (2009) ALL FWLR pt.460 (649) were the Supreme court stated the elements for the operation of estoppel by conduct.

Estoppel by Agreement

This is estoppel which arises by agreement. Section 170-172 of the Evidence Act, 2011 provides for tree types of estoppel by agreement.

  • Estoppel of tenant; and license of person in possession: By this estoppel a tenant cannot deny that his landlord has title to the premise let to him by the landlord. Similarly, a person claiming through the tenant and other licenses cannot afterword’s dispute the title of the landlord.
  • Estoppel of bailee, agent and license; Section 171 of the Evidence Act, by this section no bailee, principal or licensor by whom any goods were entrusted to any of them, was entitled to those goods, at the time when they were so entrusted.
  • Estoppel of persons Signing Bills of laden S. 172: a bill of lading is among others, an acknowledgement that goods stated there on, are laden on board the ship of the master who signed it. Accordingly, a person or master who signs a bill of laden by which he acknowledges that certain goods are on board the ship will not be allowed to state something contrary, unless the holder of the bill of laden had actual notice at the time of receiving it, that the goods had not infact been laden on board.

Estoppel by Deed – Classification of estoppel

This estoppel is to the effect that a party who executed a deed will be estopped by the court from saying that the fact stated therein are not true.
Conditions which must be satisfied before this estoppel can arise are:

  • The estoppel applies only to litigations arising on the deed and does not apply to actions on collateral matters or ancillary matters
  • The deed must be valid in law.
  • The deed must be confined to the parties to the deed and to statements in the deed which are material in the transaction and which are clear and unambiguous.

See also:- Estoppel; Private Privilege; Official and Privilege Information; Presumption; Facts Judicially Noticed; Sources of Nigeria Law of Evidence; Scope of the Law of Evidence;

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