The Duty to Read before Signing Principle – Mathias Tulasi

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Reading is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency and motivation.

Reading is making meaning from print. It requires that we:

Identify the words in print – a process called word recognition.

Construct an understanding from them–a process called comprehension.

Coordinate identifying words and making meaning so that reading is automatic and accurate – an achievement called fluency.

It is a policy of the law to protect the unwary and foolish as well as the vigilant from the wiles and artifices of evil-doers and negligence in trusting a representation will not, according to the greater weight of authority, excuse a positive willful fraud.

Against this background, the party perpetrating the fraud should not be permitted to say that he or she should not have been believed or trusted.

A person signing an agreement has a duty to read it and, absent a showing of fraud, if the person is capable of reading and understanding the contract then he is charged with the knowledge of what the contract says.

He cannot avoid the consequences of what he signed by simply saying that he did not know what he signed. In the case of the dubious Ameri issue, President Nana Addo cannot tell Ghanaians he was misled to depict he did nothing wrong. He acted wrongly for failing to read before appending his signature if that was truth as purported.

President Nana Addo should accept responsibility for his negligence since a lot of people and organizations (energy experts) spoke against the deal but he went ahead and appended his signature.

As citizens, we should all get to understand and learn from this Ameri brouhaha that, there is great danger in failing to read something because of laziness before appending one’s signature to it.

The happenings in our country calls for serious attention on issues concerning reading.

So the question is, how many times have you signed documents without reading through its content?

If you have, then I think it’s high time you start reading the fine print words at the end of most written agreements because once you sign it, you are bound by each clause of it.

If you are thinking that, they are just basic standard terms and conditions appearing in nearly all forms and doesn’t concern you, I am afraid because there will be sad news for you one day hence the need to take cover now.

If not so, you will end up realising that, there was so much information in a contract that you were not even aware of.

By signing the document, you have approved to be legally bound by each term and condition.

I want to put on record that, this does not only concern important transactions like property purchase, lease or mortgage documents. It includes any contract because a contract is an agreement between two or more parties which is legally bounding.

It is always better to read the whole document, ask the other side for the simplest of clarification and not to sign it unless you agree, understand or till you amend the clauses.

You can also seek the services of a trusted legal adviser as paying for legal advice is lesser than paying to fight yourself through Courts to get yourself out of a mistakenly signed contract.

To conclude, having stamina for something means being able to stick with something for periods of time. This stamina, or endurance, builds strength.

On that note, our leaders signing contracts etc on our behalf as a nation should build reading stamina moving forward in order to avert more damaging and ugly happenings in the future.

A reading nation will forever be a winning nation.

Long Live Ghana
Long Live Education
Long Live Reading

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