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SWISS AFRICAN TRADING CO. LTD. v. ARYEE


  • appeal
  • 1961-03-27
  • SUPREME COURT
  • GLR 185-186
  • Print

VAN LARE, SARKODEE-ADOO AND AKIWUMI, JJ.S.C.


Summary

Estoppel?-Claimant signed conveyance to his brother as witness?-Joint ownership now alleged?-Whether entitled to avoid conveyance on grounds of illiteracy.

Headnotes

The claimant-appellant, an illiterate, who had signed a deed of conveyance to his brother as a witness of the transaction, maintained that the document was in fact a transaction in which he was a joint purchaser.

Judgement

APPEAL from the judgment of D.E. Gwira, Esq. Commissioner of Assize and Civil Pleas in the Land Court, Kumasi, delivered on the 22nd January, 1960 (unreported).

JUDGMENT OF VAN LARE, J.S.C.

Van Lare, J.S.C. delivered the judgment of the court. The appellant in this case was a claimant in an interpleader suit in respect of property attached to be sold in execution of a judgment debt recovered against a brother of his in whose name the conveyance of the property was obtained. The claimant-appellant signed the deed of conveyance as a witness of the transaction. He now comes to court to say that the document he witnessed was in fact a transaction in which he was a joint purchaser of the land. The learned Commissioner of Assize and Civil Pleas decided rightly in our view that the claimant-appellant is estopped from alleging what he now says. That he is an illiterate is no excuse. An illiterate, qua illiterate, cannot be heard to say that he was unaware of the contents of a conveyance executed and witnessed by him in favour of his brother; see Ankamah v. Kitcher1. The instant case is even stronger because the illiterate claimant agrees that he well knew and understood that the conveyance which he signed as a witness was in favour of his brother only.

The learned commissioner applied the law correctly to the facts in this case and we are unable to agree with learned counsel for the claimant-appellant in this court that the learned commissioner was wrong in holding that the property in dispute, that is Plot B. 331/4 Link Road, Accra, is not the joint property of the judgment debtor and the claimant. In the result we dismiss the appeal with costs fixed at G27. 15s.

Decision

<P>Appeal dismissed.</P>

Plaintiff / Appellant

Obetsebi-Lamptey

Defendant / Respondent

A.A. Akainyah

Referals

Ankamah v. Kitcher (1929) F.C. `26-'29, 366

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