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Kakrah v. Ampofoah And Others
1957 W.A.L.R. 303
Supreme Court of Ghana, Central Judicial Division,
Land Court, Cape Coast (Adumua-Bossman J.)
April 2, 1957

APPEAL from a decision of the Agona Kwanyaku Native Court "B" on Novemer 19, 1956, dismissing the claim y the plaintiff stool for an order for the execution of an agreement dealing with stool land.

This appeal concerns stool land cultivated by the late James Obodai, an Akyem Abuakwa person who appears to have settrled with some relatives in Nyakrom and to have cultivated Nyakrom Stool forest land subject to the payment of yearly tolls of £2 to the representative off the stool.

The evidence establishes that the successor of the said James Obodai upon his death intestate was by native law and custom, and Mr. Forster, but that as a result of litigation between the children of the late James Obodai and the successor, Mr. Forster, the latter allotted or apportioned to the children part of the properties of the deceased, including:

``the land with Cocoa Farms thereon at `Obotomfo' in Nyakrom which is the subject-matter of this suit; with directions to the said children to discharge the `burdens' on the land,''

i.e., to pay the yearly tolls payable in respect of the tenancy. Upon the representative of the stool writing to enjoy:

``to know the present condition of our land lying and situate at Swedru Kwanmy, which your predecessor worked on at 'Obotomfo', who is now working it?''

the successor wrote and said `` inter alia '':

``my children are on the land, and any case concerning the land must be referred to me.''

The representative of the stool then applied to the children (the defendants in this case) for assistance in paying some stool debt-a debt unconnected with any litigation concerning the particular stool land occupied y them. They refused to assist. The stool next sought to increase from £2 to £12 per annum the yearly tool payable in respect of the land, but this also the children refused to agree to. Thereupon the representative off the stool issued the writ in this case, in effect claiming an order to compel the children to sign an agreement accepting the new rate imposed, and also claiming an order that a portion of the land farmed by two Awowin strangers called Obo and Abeh should be declared as having reverted to the stool. As to this latter claim, the trial court held, rightly in my view, that the two men were labourers of the late Obodai and farmed for him. As to the question of imposing a new rate, the trial court held, also rightly in my view that the stool could not vary the agreement made with the late Obodai. The trial court however, raised the further question as to who should have been sued about the land, and they decided that in view of the correspondence between the stool's representative and the successor, the stool's representative was wrong in suing the children. With this I cannot agree. The evidence establishes that the successor allotted and gave the children a portion of their late father's estate-as he is entitled, and indeed may be liable, by custom to do-and thereby made the children owners of that portion, with all the burdens attached to the land-I hold therefore, that it is the children as owners whom the stool is entitled to sued and that they were rightly sued in this case. I would expunge that part of the decision of the trial court. Subject to that the appeal will e dismissed. Cost of the defendants.

Appeal dismissed.

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Josh DuBois 2004-12-01