Section 46-52 Nigerian Bill of Exchange Act LFN 1990

Section 46-52 Bill of Exchange Act 1990

Section 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52 of the Bill of Exchange Act [Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990] is under Part II [Bills of Exchange – General Duties of the Holder] of the Act, among other sections.

Section 46 Bill of Exchange Act 1990

(Excuses for delay or non-presentment for payment)

(1)            Delay in making presentment for payment is excused when the delay is caused by circumstances beyond the control of the holder, and not imputable to his default, misconduct or negligence; and when the cause of delay ceases to operate, presentment must be made with reasonable diligence.

(2)            Presentment for payment is dispensed with-

(a)            where, after the exercise of reasonable diligence, presentment, as required by this Act, cannot be effected; and the fact that the holder has reason to believe that the bill will, on presentment, be dishonoured, does not dispense with the necessity for presentment;

(b)            where the drawee is a fictitious person;

(c)            as regards the drawer, where the drawee or acceptor is not bound, as between himself and the drawer, to accept or pay the bill, and the drawer has no reason to believe that the bill would be paid if presented;

(d)            as regards an endorser, where the bill was accepted or made for the accommodation of that endorser, and he has no reason to expect that the bill would be paid if presented;

(e)            by waiver of presentment, express or implied.

Section 47 Bill of Exchange Act 1990

(Dishonour by non-payment)

(1)            A bill is dishonoured by non-payment –

(a)            When it is duly presented for payment and payment is refused or cannot be obtained or, where an advice is sent through the post office in pursuance of subsection (3) of section 45 of this Act, payment is not obtained –

(i)             in the case of a bill not payable on demand on or before the date the bill falls due; or

(ii)            in the case of a bill payable on demand, within ten days from the time the advice is posted.

(b)            when presentment is excused and the bill is overdue and unpaid.

(2)            Subject to the provisions of this Act, when a bill is dishonoured by non-payment, an immediate right of recourse against the drawer and endorsers accrues to the holder.

Section 48 Bill of Exchange Act 1990

(Notice of dishonour and effect of non-notice)

Subject to the provisions of this Act, when a bill has been dishonoured by non-acceptance or by non-payment, notice of dishonour must be given to the drawer and each endorser, and any drawer or endorser to whom such notice is not given is discharged:

                 Provided that –

(a)            where a bill is dishonoured by non-acceptance, and notice of dishonour is not given, the rights of a holder in due course subsequent to the omission shall not be prejudiced by the omission;

(b)            where a bill is dishonoured by non-acceptance, and due notice of dishonour is given, it shall not be necessary to give notice of a subsequent dishonour by nonpayment unless the bill shall in the meantime have been accepted.

SEE ALSO  Section 17-21 Nigerian Bill of Exchange Act LFN 1990

Section 49 Bill of Exchange Act 1990

(Rules as to notice of dishonour)

Notice of dishonour, in order to be valid and effectual, must be given in accordance with the following rules, that is-

(a)            the notice must be given by or on behalf of the holder, or by or on behalf of an endorser, who, at the time of giving it, is himself liable on the bill;

(b)            notice of dishonour may be given by an agent either in his own name or in the name of any party entitled to give notice whether that party be his principal or not

(c)            where the notice is given by or on behalf of the holder, it ensures for the benefit of all prior endorsers who have a right of recourse against the party to whom it is given;

(d)            where notice is given by or on behalf of an endorser, entitled to give notice as hereinbefore provided, it ensures for the benefit of the holder and all endorsers subsequent to the party to whom notice is given

(e)            the notice may be given in writing or by personal communication and may be given in any terms which sufficiently identify the bill, and intimate that the bill has been dishonoured by non-acceptance or non-payment;

(f)            the return of a dishonoured bill to the drawer or an endorser is, in point of form, deemed a sufficient notice of dishonour;

(g)            a written notice need not be signed and an insufficient written notice may be supplemented and validated by verbal communication; and a misdescription of the bill shall not vitiate the notice unless the party to whom the notice is given is in fact misled thereby;

(h)            where notice of dishonour is required to be given to any person, it may be given either to the party himself, or to his agent in that behalf;

(i)            where the drawer or endorser is dead, and the party giving notice knows it, the notice must be given to a personal representative, if such there be, and with the exercise of reasonable diligence he can be found;

(j)            where the drawer or endorser is bankrupt or insolvent, notice may be given either to the party himself or to the trustee or official assignee;

(k)            where there are two or more drawers or endorsers who are not partners, notice must be given to each of them, unless one of them has authority to receive such notice for the others;

(l)            the notice may be given as soon as the bill is dishonoured and must be given within a reasonable time thereafter; and in the absence of special circumstances, notice shall not deemed to have been given within a reasonable time unless–

(i)            where the person giving and the person to receive notice reside in the same place, the notice is given or sent off in time to reach the latter on the day after the dishonour of the bill,

(ii)            where the person giving and the person to receive notice reside in different places, the notice is sent off on the day after the dishonour of the bill, if there be a post at a convenient hour on that day, and if there be no such post on that day then by the next post thereafter;

(m)            where a bill when dishonoured is in the hands of an agent, he may either himself give notice to the parties liable on the bill, or he may give notice to his principal; and if he gives notice to his principal, he must do so within the same time as if he were the holder, and the principal upon receipt of such notice has himself the same time for giving notice as if the agent had been an independent holder;

SEE ALSO  Section 92-98 Nigerian Bill of Exchange Act LFN 1990

(n)            where a party to a bill receives due notice of dishonour, he has, after the receipt of such notice, the same period of time for giving notice to antecedent parties that the holder has after the dishonour;

(o)            where a notice of dishonour is duly addressed and posted, the sender is deemed to have given due notice of dishonour, notwithstanding any miscarriage by the post office.

Section 50 Bill of Exchange Act 1990

(Excuses for non-notice and delay)

 (1)            Delay in giving notice of dishonour is excused where the delay is caused by circumstances beyond the control of the party giving notice, and not imputable to his default, misconduct, or negligence. When the cause of delay ceases to operate the notice must be given with reasonable diligence.

(2)            Notice of dishonour is dispensed with –

(a)            when, after the exercise of reasonable diligence, notice as required by this Act cannot be given to or does not reach the drawer or endorser sought to be charged;

(b)            by waiver express or implied; and notice of dishonour may be waived before the time of giving notice has arrived, or after the omission to give due notice;

(c)            as regards the drawer in the following cases-

(i)             where drawer and drawee are the same person,

(ii)            where the drawee is a fictitious person or a person not having capacity to contract,

(iii)           where the drawer is the person to whom the bill is presented for payment,

(iv)           where the drawee or acceptor is, as between himself and the drawer, under no obligation to accept or pay the bill,

(v)            where the drawer has countermanded payment;

(d)            as regards the endorser in the following cases-

(i)             where the drawee is a fictitious person or a person not having capacity to contract and the endorser was aware of the fact at the time he endorsed the bill,

(ii)             where the endorser is the person to whom the bill is presented for payment,

(iii)            where the bill was accepted or made for his accommodation.

Section 51 Bill of Exchange Act 1990

(Noting of protest of bill)

 (1)            Where an inland bill has been dishonoured, it may, if the holder think fit, be noted for non-acceptance or non-payment, as the case may be; but it shall not be necessary to note or protest any such bill in order to preserve the recourse against the drawer or endorser.

(2)            Where a foreign bill, appearing on the face of it to be such, has been dishonoured by non-acceptance, it must be duly protested for non-acceptance, and where such a bill, which has not been previously dishonoured by non-acceptance, is dishonoured by non-payment it must be duly protested for non-payment. If it be not so protested the drawer or endorsers are discharged. Where a bill does not appear on the face of it to be a foreign bill, protest thereof in case of dishonour is unnecessary.

(3)            A bill which has been protested for non-acceptance may be subsequently protested for non-payment.

(4)            Subject to the provisions of this Act, when a bill is noted or protested, it must be noted on the day of its dishonour or on the next succeeding business day thereafter. When a bill has been duly noted, the protest may be subsequently extended as of the date of the noting.

(5)            Where the acceptor of a bill becomes bankrupt or insolvent or suspends payment before it matures, the holder may cause the bill to be protested for better security against the drawer and endorsers.

SEE ALSO  Section 3-10 Nigerian Bill of Exchange Act LFN 1990

(6)            A bill must be protested at the place where it is dishonoured:

                 Provided that –

(a)            when a bill is presented through the post office, and returned by post dishonoured it may be protested at the place to which it is returned and on the day of its return if received during business hours, and if not received during business honours, then not later than the next business day;

(b)            when a bill drawn payable at the place of business or residence of some person other than the drawee, has been dishonoured by non-acceptance, it must be protested for non-payment at the place where it is expressed to be payable, and no further presentment for payment to, or demand on, the drawee is necessary.

(7)            A protest must contain a copy of the bill, and must be signed by the notary making it, and must specify –

(a)            the person at whose request the bill is protested;

(b)            the place and date of protest, the cause or reason for protesting the bill, the demand made, and the answer given, if any, or the fact that the drawee or acceptor could not be found.

(8)            Where a bill is lost or destroyed, or is wrongly detained from the person entitled to hold it, protest may be made on a copy or written particulars thereof.

(9)            Protest is dispensed with by any circumstance which would dispense with notice of dishonour. Delay in noting or protesting is excused when the delay is caused by circumstances beyond the control of the holder, and not imputable to his default, misconduct, or negligence; when the cause of delay ceases to operate, the bill must be noted or protested with reasonable diligence.

Section 52 Bill of Exchange Act 1990

(Duties of holder as regards acceptor)

 (1)            When a bill is accepted generally, presentment for payment is not necessary in order to render the acceptor liable.

(2)            When by the terms of a qualified acceptance presentment for payment is required, the acceptor, in the absence of an express stipulation to that effect, is not discharged by the omission to present the bill for payment on the day that it matures.

(3)            In order to render the acceptor of a bill liable it is not necessary to protest it, or that notice of dishonour should be given to him.

(4)            Where the holder of a bill presents it for payment, he shall exhibit the bill to the person from whom he demands payment, and when a bill is paid the holder shall forthwith deliver it up to the party paying it.


Credit: CommonLII

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Inioluwa Olaposi

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