Issues raised by Courts

  1. Duty of a buyer to the seller, where the mode of payment choosen by them is a documentary credit.
  2. Instances when a bank is authorized to negotiate under a credit.
  3. Whether acceptance under a letter of credit precludes the buyer from rejecting the goods.


This is a judgment of the Supreme Court on the appeal from the decision from the court of Appeal.

The appellant A.M.O Akinsanya trading in the name and style of rocky Merchants a company with headquarters in Lagos entered into a contract with a Swiss company known as the Association for Economicatone Industrial Development in the Middle East and African Country (Otherwise Known as ASDECAMO, for short) to import 10, 000 metric tons of cement. He thereafter approached his bankers United Bank for Africa Ltd to Open a Letter of Credit for the transaction in favour of ASDECAMO.

The Bank opened an irrevocable /confirmed Letter of Credit for $570, 000 in favour of the exporters.

The importers are to be paid once they submit the following:

  1. Certificate of Origin
  2. Value and Invoice “Form C” in triplicate
  3. Commercial invoice
  4. Insurance cover
  5. Consignee’s parking list
  6. Full of clean on board bill of lading issued to order and endorsed in blank marked “fragile”

One of the very important conditions is:

“it is understood that our engagement (that is appellant’s engagement) to pay shall continue in force to notwithstanding any changes in our and/ or your constitution and that no responsibility is to attach to yourselves or your correspondents as to the documents, beyond seeing that they purported to be in order”

It was on the strength of this application that the respondent, (United Bank for Africa) July 31 1978 established an LC in favour of Banque Pour le Commerce Int. S.A, a Swiss Bank