Novation of Contracts: Examining the Effects in Modern Information and Communication Technology Agreements (Published)
This paper explores the essence of novation as it affects the contracts for ICT and contractual rights in general before dealing with questions raised in the contracts in relation to the novation or assignment clauses. Novation is one of the mechanisms whereby parties can swap or assign duties and obligations under an existing contract to new parties. The paper points out recognized mechanisms of transferring obligations as well as analyses the presumed assignment of obligations by contrasting the position of the law in other jurisdictions under common law. The state of the law on the assignment or transfer of contractual obligations in Nigeria, owing to problems occurring under common law, statutory provisions and the drafting of assignment clauses and related documents, are curiously far from simple. The basic principle of contract law in Nigeria as seen through various judicial pronouncements therefore suggests that the assignment or transfer of contractual obligations are unclear. Unfortunately, the lack of an established system for contract law in Nigeria, as well as strong judicial precedents on the subject, can be due to several of these challenges. It is therefore the position of this paper that the principle of law concerning novation must be clarified to minimise the uncertainty in its application by parties and enforcement by the court.