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FRANS v. GRANT


  • appeal
  • 1961-02-21
  • SUPREME COURT
  • GLR 108-109
  • Print

KORSAH, C.J., VAN LARE AND AKIWUMI, JJ.S.C.


Summary

Contract?-Sale of plaintiff's house by auction?-Certificate of purchase to defendant?-Agreement to refund G10 to plaintiff on defendant entering into possession?-Whether condition precedent?-Whether plaintiff entitled to recover possession.

Headnotes

In 1939, the plaintiff's house was sold by auction for his default in paying rates. The defendant (the respondent herein) bought the house outright for G100 and obtained a certificate of purchase from the court. The plaintiff and the defendant then entered into an agreement whereby the defendant agreed to transfer the house to the plaintiff for G150 at the end of the year. If the plaintiff failed to find the requisite money, the defendant should take possession of the house and refund G10 to the plaintiff. The plaintiff did not pay the sum of G150 and the defendant, who entered into possession, also failed to refund G10 to the plaintiff. The plaintiff sought an order restoring to him his right title or interest in the house.

Judgement

APPEAL from the decision of Smith, J. in the High Court, Sekondi delivered on the 21st February, 1960 (unreported) which reversed a decision of the Sekondi-Takoradi Municipal Court. The defendant in the trial local court was I. G. Hayford. On his death, Nana Baffu Ababio was substituted, and before the appeal to the Supreme Court was heard Madam Agnes Grant substituted for Ababio.

JUDGMENT

This is an appeal from the judgment of the Land Court, Sekondi, (Smith, J.) in exercise of its appellate jurisdiction in a case [p.109] instituted before the Sekondi-Takoradi Municipal Court, wherein the plaintiff (the appellant herein) claimed possession of a house, on the ground that the defendant had committed a breach of an agreement made between the plaintiff and the defendant, whereby the defendant who had bought the plaintiff's house at a public auction for G100, agreed to transfer the same to the plaintiff at the end of the year upon payment by the plaintiff to the defendant of the sum of G150; but if the plaintiff failed to pay the said amount, the defendant should enter into possession by virtue of the purchase.

At the end of the year, the plaintiff failed to pay the sum of G150 as required by the agreement and the defendant exercised his rights and caused the plaintiff to be ejected by order of the sheriff. This took place in about 1940. Since then, the plaintiff has endeavoured by diverse suits in various courts to recover possession of the house. In all of these he has failed. After eighteen years he has brought this action, contending that under the said agreement, the defendant upon taking possession or enforcing his rights under the purchase should refund the sum of G10.

The municipal court erroneously accepted the plaintiff's contention, and held that failure on the part of defendant to pay the sum of G10 was a breach of the agreement which would entitle the plaintiff to recover possession of the house. In our view the right to recover the sum of G10 from defendant is not an essential part of the agreement. The proper interpretation of the agreement is that when the defendant took possession of the house then he should pay the G10; the payment of this sum is therefore not a condition precedent, the non-fulfilment of which could vitiate the rights of the defendant derived from the sale.

Smith, J. was therefore right in the view he took about the whole transaction. The plaintiff's entitlement to the G10 in no way vitiated the defendant's title to the house in dispute. This appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs fixed at G32 2s. 0d.

Decision

<P>Appeal dismissed.</P>

Plaintiff / Appellant

S. Baidoo

Defendant / Respondent

C. F. Hayfron-Benjamin

Referals

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