Sagay, I.E., (1993) defined an offer in his book, Nigerian of contract as " a definite undertaking or promise made by one part with the intention that it shall become binding on the party making it as soon as it is accepted by the party to whom it is addressed".
Whizz PC Ltd becomes the offeror and Taite, Lewis and Co becomes the offeree. A contract comes into existence only between the offeror and the person or persons responding to the offer and accepting it. This principle was declared in the famous case of Carbolic Smoke Ball Co v. Carllil1 by brown, L.J., is now expressed by stating that an offer can be made not only to an individual or group of persons, but also to the whole world. In the case2, defendant had argued that no contract could arise from their advertisement because you cannot make a contract with the whole world. This argument the court demolished by stating as follows:
For an offer capable of becoming binding on acceptance, it must be definitely clear and final. If it is merely a preliminary move in negotiation which may lead to a contract, it not an offer but an invitation to treat. This was the case when Whizz PC Ltd sent its brochure to the Taite, Lewis and Co firm. ...
should not an offer be made to all the world which is ripen to
contract with every body who come forward and performs the
condition It is an offer to liable to any one whom, before it is
retracted, performs condition, and although the offer is made
to the world the contract ids made with that limited portion
of the public who come forward and perform the condition
on the faith of the advertisement.
For an offer capable of becoming binding on acceptance, it must be definitely clear and final. If it is merely a preliminary move in negotiation which may lead to a contract, it not an offer but an invitation to treat. This was the case when Whizz PC Ltd sent its brochure to the Taite, Lewis and Co firm. The offeror must not "merely have been feeling his way towards an agreement not merely initiating negotiations from which an agreement might or might not in time result"3.
On 27 of January, the partners of Taite, Lewis and Co wrote to whizz PC ltd placing an order for 20 of the whiz 4000 PCs stipulating that the price of 500 Pounds must include installation and a 24 months onsite repair/troubleshooting service. The firm of Taite, Lewis and Co, stated that it will pay for the supply if machines 60 days after the date of the delivery.
In the invitation of treat sent by Whizz PC Ltd did not specify installation and onsite repair/troubleshooting as part of the 500 pounds cost of each machine. The payment methods were not even specified. Thus the order made by Taite, Lewis and Co will be seen as a counter offer to the offer made by Whizz Ltd.
In Hyde v. Wrench4 the defendant on June 6 made an offer to sale an estate to the plaintiff for 1000 pounds. On Jun 8, the plaintiff replied with an offer to buy the estate for 950 pounds. The defendant