Life has been stressful lately. All you can think about is having time to yourself and enjoying your favourite meal, goat meat jollof. Unfortunately, the only jollof you can uninhibitedly enjoy is the one you make all by yourself. No one blames you because truly, no one knows what you like more than you. If you really want to make this jollof dream a reality, you’ll have to go to the market to buy the ingredients right? Right. So that’s what you do. You go to the market and start looking for tomatoes because the future happiness of your stomach depends on the richness of the jollof. “Yeeeiiisss ntoos, Bolga ntoos. Ntoos papa nie!” The shrill cry advertising good tomatoes supposedly from Bolga reaches your ears. Almost magnetically, you’re drawn to the direction of the shrill voice. True to her word, her tomatoes look nice enough. Firm to the touch, the right shade of red and unblemished. One bucket is 15 cedis and you don’t waste time trying to bargain because honestly all you can see is jollof. A savoury, fragrant, flavour-packed goat meat jollof that you can even taste already. You get home only to find out that this woman has sold you the most rotten tomatoes in the world. How is this even possible? You saw her empty that particular bucket you had chosen into the polythene bag which she tied and handed over to you in exchange for 15 cedis. Or maybe, she simply arranged the good ones on top to attract buyers and put rotten ones underneath. You’ve been duped. Wow. You never thought you’d be in this situation. After all the stories you’ve heard about this age-old trick, one would think you’d be the last person in the world to fall victim. What can you do about it though?
This situation is not rare at all. Many traders often pull a smart one on many of us much to our chagrin. In this case, there are three options. You could either look for that particular trader and confront him/her, give it to God like the stereotypical victim you are or take legal action. We’re going with the latter option since we’re overly ambitious and particularly litigious. Besides, no one messes with you and goes scot-free like that. Especially not when you have an amazing potential lawyer like me by your side. So sit back, buckle up and let’s do this!
Cape Three Points
If you’re looking to recover some money from the trader in question, then you’re going to have to prove three things to the Court’s satisfaction. If even one is lacking, you’re toast. But you already knew this. So what are these three things?
1) Did the trader make a false statement of fact?
Statement of fact here could be either written or oral or inferred from conduct. No, statements of opinion and of future intention do not count. However, half-truths, ambiguous statements and actions taken to hide the truth all count here. So to everyone not only businesspeople, honesty truly is the best policy. Oh and lest I forget, any statement a person makes without caring whether it is true or false, could be his own undoing in a similar situation. Looking at your unfortunate situation, did the tomato seller make a false statement of fact? She said and I quote, “Yeeeeeiiis ntoos! Bolga ntoos! Ntoos papa nie!” According to her shrill cry, her tomatoes are from Bolga and are good. However, when you got home, you realized that she was lying. Her tomatoes were rotten. She just piled a few good ones on top to trick you into buying her decomposing tomatoes. A trick you all too readily fell for. Now, if her cry does not sound like a false statement of fact then I don’t know what else does.
Our time and space is up for today but not to worry. We’ll round it all up in next week’s post. Until then, see you. *blows air kisses.