Million-Naira Mistake: Who Pays for the Azul?

Million-Naira Mistake: Who Pays for the Azul?

Published on: May 6, 2024 (Updated on: June 12, 2024)

In a trending video online, a guy seemingly took a girl on a date. The girl said she didn't like the drink that was ordered by the guy. While having a conversation about the drink, the guy had to step out quickly to meet someone. As he was stepping out of the restaurant, he told the girl to order any other drink that she wanted. On coming back, the girl had ordered a bottle of Azul which cost one million and three hundred thousand Naira (1,300,000), a price the girl had mistaken for one thousand three hundred Naira (1,300). The crux of the matter now is, who is going to pay for the expensive drink? 

In the fascinating scenario that's captured everyone's attention online, we've got a situation that seems straight out of a social experiment but crashes headlong into the stern world of legal issues. Here, what seems like a date turned unexpectedly into a potential courtroom drama when a misunderstanding over the cost of a drink leads to a bill bordering the astronomical.

At the heart of this peculiar event are two primary characters: the guy, who momentarily stepped away after encouraging his date to order another drink in hopes of salvaging the date, and the girl, whose eyes landed on a bottle of Azul. Her choice, driven by what is either an innocent mistake or glaring oversight, racked up a tab of 1.3 million Naira -- far beyond the assumed 1,300 Naira.

Now, the simmering question: Who foots the bill for this costly misunderstanding? Under Nigerian law, several angles come into play, each painting a different stroke of responsibility and obligation. Let's unpack this knot, keeping it simple:

At first glance, one might argue that a verbal contract of sorts was made. The guy's parting words, "order whatever you like", could be interpreted as giving consent or authorization for her to make a substitute choice within a reasonable assumption of price range. The legality crux hinges on whether the girl's action of ordering a bottle of Azul was within the bounds of this implied authorization and, crucially, what constitutes 'reasonable'. In most legal territories, including Nigeria, a contractual agreement or consent necessitates a meeting of minds – both parties need to clearly agree on the terms. Here, the extent and limit of the 'permission' could be ambiguous.

2. Mistake in Transactions

Nigerian law, leaning on principles common in many jurisdictions, does make provisions for mistakes in transactions. However, benefits from a mistake typically require the mistake to be genuine, immediately recognizable as a mistake by both parties, and not due to gross negligence. The girl's misunderstanding of the price could pigeonhole into these criteria, but the argument can swing both ways. Was her assumption reasonable, or does ordering a bottle of Azul inherently come with a certain expectation of due diligence on the price?

3. Unjust Enrichment

Under no corner of Nigerian law should one party unfairly benefit at the expense of another due to a misunderstanding. If it's judged that the girl's error was genuine and understandable, and thus the guy ends up paying, he might find solace under this precept. This principle nudges towards a resolution that doesn't punish someone for a simple misunderstanding, especially where an easy assumption could have been made that led to the error - a significant bill doesn’t automatically fall on him without considering the specifics of the incident.

4. Consumer Protection Rights

Tangentially, there's a role for the establishment that served the drink. Restaurant or bar policies might come under scrutiny, as many expertise establishments verify expensive orders before proceeding – particularly if the order starkly contrasts with previous ones made by the same customer. The lack of checks could push some of the accountability to the establishment although this does not absolve the girl of her responsibility in the matter.


Before this scenario ventures into the realm of a legal dispute, it calls for a simple conversation, mediation, and perhaps a generous dose of understanding. The heart of the matter is a relatable, albeit costly, mistake. While, legally, arguments could skew for or against either party paying the bill, the fundamental guide in Nigerian law, as with many legal systems, gears towards fairness, consent, and the intention behind the actions of both individuals.

Clear communication at this point, coupled with an empathetic review of the innocent mistake made, would likely be the most reasonable – and legally amicable – path forward, sparing both parties from the unwelcome escalation over an undoubtedly expensive sip of Azul.


Nigerian Law Forum (AI Assisted)

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