Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/ghanalegal/domains/ on line 101 KWADJO v. TAIBIL AND ANOR | GhanaLegal - Resources for the legal brains


  • appeal
  • 1959-02-03
  • GLR 58-60
  • Print



Stool Lands Boundary dispute?-No power in Judge to stay proceedings in absence of an Order by the Governor?-General-in-Council?-No power to dismiss action without adjudication.


This case arose out of a boundary dispute between chiefs. The plaintiff was Chief Yaw Damoah as representing the Stool of Contrajesu, and on behalf of Omanhene of Dormaa. During the pendency of the proceedings, Chief Twum Kwadjo was substituted for Chief Yaw Damoah, the latter having been dead for 6 years. The defendant was Chief Kofi Taibil, representing the Stool of Susuansu. Nana Boakye Tromu II on behalf of the Stool of Nkwanta applied to be joined as a co-plaintiff, but in the event was joined as a co-defendant.Sec. 3(2) of the Stool Lands Boundaries Settlement Ordinance, 1950, provides as follows:?-?"It shall be the duty of a Commissioner to enquire into and determine such boundaries as the Governor-in-Council may by Order direct, and the Governor-in-Council is hereby empowered to make Orders for that purpose whenever he shall think fit so to do."See. 4 of the same Ordinance provides:-"If an Order is made under subsection (2) of section 3 of this Ordinance for the determination of any boundary and ?-(a) any proceedings are then pending in any Court; or(b) any proceedings are brought in any Court after the making of the Order and before the boundary has been finally determined as provided in this Ordinance, and in either case it appears to the Court that the situation of that boundary is in dispute in, or is otherwise relevant to the determination of, those proceedings, the Court may order a stay of the proceedings until the boundary [p.59] shall have been finally determined as provided in this Ordinance, and may make such incidental or consequential order as the Court may deem just?" After the close of pleadings in the Land court in the instant case, Sarkodee-Adoo J. observed:-?"It appearing in the Writ of Summons and on the pleadings that the claim is a boundary dispute in relation to boundaries of Stool Lands and matters connected therewith, I would hear arguments to show cause why I should not adjourn or strike out these proceedings, for the parties to advise themselves and consider the applicability of Stool lands Boundaries Settlement Ordinance, 1950, to this Action.?"The learned Judge, after hearing Counsel, stated that he was satisfied that the case was a proper one for an Enquiry by the Commissioner under the provisions of the Stool Lands Boundaries Settlement Ordinance, 1950, and he adjourned the proceedings, for mention some 3 months later.At the adjourned hearing, two of the three Counsel being in accord with his lordship, the third (for the plaintiff, Chief Twum Kwadjo) was called on to "show cause why the case should not be struck out or dismissed in view of my ruling" (at the previous hearing). Thereafter, the Judge ordered as follows:"I do dismiss the Action with costs assessed at 75 guineas to the defendant and 75 guineas to the co-defendant.?"The plaintiff appealed to the Court of Appeal (Civ. App. No. 74/58).


Van Lare Ag. C.J. delivered the judgment of the Court

In this case the learned Judge on the 20th of November, 1957 observed that the case was one proper for an enquiry by the Stool Lands Boundary Commissioner under the Stool Lands Boundaries Settlement Ordinance, 1950. He therefore adjourned the proceedings for mention on the 13th February, 1958.

Upon the matter coming on that day, the learned Judge asked counsel for the plaintiff to show cause why the case should not be struck out or dismissed, in view of his ruling of the 20th November, 1957. We find it impossible to understand the reasoning in the learned Judge's mind, inasmuch as he had no power even to stay [p.60] the proceedings at that stage under section 4, because no order had been made under section 3(2) of the Ordinance. Nevertheless, the learned Judge dismissed the action for no explainable reason, and without adjudication of any kind, and awarded what in our view were substantial costs against the plaintiff.


<P>It suffices to say that this is manifestly wrong, and the appeal is therefore allowed.&nbsp; The ruling appealed from is set aside, including the order as to costs, and the ca

Plaintiff / Appellant


Defendant / Respondent

Swanzy and Danquah for 1st and 2nd Respondents respectively


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