Philip is a well- known business man in East- Legon. He runs a cinema, a motel, a real estate agency, a car rental service, a garage, a chain of restaurants specialising in tilapia, pizza, etc. He also trades in tropical foodstuff. Amanda is a trader, too. She buys foodstuff from villages in the Eastern and Volta regions to sell in Accra. She also buys imported foodstuff to sell in the villages. Philip has been a customer to Amanda for over 3 years, buying foodstuff from her for his restaurant, usually on credit. Amanda’s business has surged over the first quarter of this year. This is because it is election year; and the quadrennial migration of people from the Republic of Togo to the Volta region has started.
Amanda is no longer able to meet the demand from across the Adomi Bridge. She has discussed the situation with Philip. Philip advised her to get a better means of transport, a bigger truck, probably a 2009 KIA K2700 truck. He also told her that he has 2 of the K2700 trucks in his garage and could give her a cool deal. Philip, then, rocketed his bushy head into the open driver’s window of his red 2009 Toyota Corolla (with registration number is FR 33 – 10). He emerged with a two-page document in his right hand. It was a standard form agreement. The agreement contained the cash price, the hire- purchase price and the total purchase price of a 2009 KIA K2700 truck. He explained the terms, briefly, and handed it over to Amanda. Amanda took the agreement home. Two days later, she came to Philip at the garage. She had the
agreement in hand. She indicated her preferences and after over 1 hour of intense negotiation, the two agreed in writing as follows: Amanda would make an initial part-payment of GHC 5,000 for the truck. She would take the truck for use. She, then, would pay a part of the total purchase price in 10 monthly cash instalments. She would pay the remaining part of the total purchase price by supplying 20 cartons of tilapia every month for 24 months to Philip’s restaurant. Amanda could not terminate the agreement unless she has made at least 4 monthly instalment payments. Should Amanda defaults in any manner whatsoever, Philip or his agent are entitled to enter any premise where the truck is kept and take possession of it.
Barely 5 weeks after Amanda and Philip signed the agreement, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Abu Ramadan & Anor v EC & A-G that the Electoral Commission should take steps to expunge certain names from the national voters’ register. Since the Supreme Court decision, however, the population of the Volta Region drastically telescoped, causing the demand for Amanda’s goods to plummet sharply. The truck became completely useless to Amanda’s business. Amanda approached Philip with a written proposal to terminate the agreement. Philip rebuffed her proposal and, quickly, referred her to the terms of the agreement. Amanda was visibly stranded.
To be able to keep up with her payment obligations under the agreement with Philip, Amanda entered a hire- purchase agreement in respect of the truck with Jagri Esq, a retired State Prosecutor based in Ho. Amanda’s choice of Ho was strategic – Philip will never know of the transaction. Amanda would, then, use Jagri Esq’s payments to settle her obligations towards Philip. However, after two months, word got to Philip about Amanda’s hire-purchase agreement with Jagri Esq. Philip, without recourse whatsoever to Amanda, immediately mobilised 5 of his workers and stormed Ho in search of the truck. At Ho, the 6 men found the truck in Jagri Esq’s. They entered the house, seized the truck and headed for Accra. All attempts by Jagri Esq to understand what was going on landed on rocks. Jagri immediately placed a telephone call to Amanda and queried her on what he considered a fraudulent behaviour. Amanda offered no meaningful answers. Meanwhile, Jagri Esq has vowed to remain on Amanda’s nerves until he finds a remedy. He is threatening to sue Amanda for recovery of the truck and damages for breach of contract, fraud and other consequential remedies.
Amanda is completely devastated. She has approached you for legal assistance. Advise her.
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