Section 17-21 Bill of Exchange Act 1990
Section 17,18,19,20,21 of the Bill of Exchange Act [Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990] is under Part II [Bills of Exchange – Form and Interpretation] of the Act, together with other sections.
Section 17 Bill of Exchange Act 1990
(Definition and requisites of acceptance)
(1) The acceptance of a bill is the signification by the drawee of his assent to the order of the drawer.
(2) An acceptance is invalid unless it complies with the following conditions-
(a) it must be written on the bill and be signed by the drawee; and the mere signature of the drawee without additional words is sufficient;
(b) it must not express that the drawee will perform his promise by any other means than the payment of money.
Section 18 Bill of Exchange Act 1990
(Time for acceptance)
(1) A bill may be accepted–
(a) before it has been signed by the drawer or while otherwise incomplete;
(b) when it is overdue or after it has been dishonoured by a previous refusal to accept or by non-payment.
(2) When a bill payable after sight is dishonoured by nonacceptance and the drawee subsequently accepts it, the holder in the absence of any different agreement is entitled to have the bill accepted as of the date of first presentment to the drawee for acceptance.
Section 19 Bill of Exchange Act 1990
(General and qualified acceptance)
(1) An acceptance is either-
(a) general; or
(2) A general acceptance assents without qualification to the order of the drawer; and a qualified acceptance in express terms varies the effect of the bill as drawn.
(3) In particular an acceptance is qualified which is
(a) conditional that is to say, which makes payment by the acceptor dependent on the fulfillment of a condition therein stated;
(b) partial that is to say an acceptance to pay part only of the amount for which the bill is drawn
(c) local that is to say an acceptance to pay part only at a particular specified place; and an acceptance only at a particular specified place and an acceptance to pay at a particular place is a general acceptance unless it expressly states that the bill is to be paid there only and not elsewhere;
(d) qualified as to time;
(e) the acceptance of some one or more of the drawees, but not of all.
Section 20 Bill of Exchange Act 1990
(1) Where a simple signature on a blank stamped paper is delivered by the signer in order that it may be converted into a bill, it operates as a prima facie authority to fill it up as a complete bill for any amount the stamp will cover, using the signature for that of the drawer, or the acceptor, or an endorser; and, in like manner, when a bill is wanting in any material particular, the person in possession of it has a prima facie
authority to fill up the omission in any way he thinks fit.
(2) In order that any such instrument when completed may be enforceable against any person who became a party thereto prior to its completion, it must be filled up within a reasonable time, and strictly in accordance with the authority given; and reasonable time for this purpose is a question of fact:
Section 21 Bill of Exchange Act 1990
(1) Every contract on a bill, whether it be the drawer’s, the acceptors, or an endorser’s, is incomplete and revocable, until delivery of the instrument in order to give effect thereto:
Provided that where an acceptance is written on a bill, and the drawee gives notice to or according to the directions of the person entitled to the bill that he has accepted it, the acceptance then becomes complete and irrevocable.
(2) As between immediate parties, and as regards a remote party other than a holder in due course, the delivery –
(a) In order to be effectual must be made either by or under the authority of the party drawing, accepting or endorsing, as the case may be;
(b) may be shown to have been conditional or for a special purpose only, and not for the purpose of transferring the property in the bill.
But if the bill be in the hands of a holder in due course a valid delivery of the bill by all parties prior to him so as to make them liable to him is conclusively presumed.
(3) Where a bill is no longer in the possession of a party who has signed it as drawer, acceptor or endorser, a valid and unconditional delivery by him is presumed until the contrary is proved.