Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/ghanalegal/domains/ghanalegal.com/public_html/engine/Drivers/mysql.php on line 101 YAOTEY v. QUAYE | GhanaLegal - Resources for the legal brains

YAOTEY v. QUAYE


  • New
  • 1961-10-16
  • HIGH COURT
  • GLR 573-584
  • Print

OLLENNU, J


Summary

Succession?-Persons entitled to share in the estate under the Marriage Ordinance, Cap.127 (1951 Rev.), s. 48. Family law?-Legitimacy of children. Family law?-Essentials and incidents of customary marriage.

Headnotes

Robert Anyai Yaotey married under the Marriage Ordinance, Cap. 127 (1951 Rev.). He had three children by this marriage; the plaintiff Regina Yaoteley Yaotey, is the eldest of those children. Robert divorced the Ordinance wife and married the defendant under customary law. There is one issue of this latter marriage, a girl. Robert also had another child by name Grace Yaoteley, with another woman called Naa Momo Ashong. He never married this woman. Robert died intestate in 1961. He was survived by all the children and the two women. Regina Yaotey, the eldest child of the Ordinance marriage applied for the grant of letters of administration to administer the estate of her late father on the ground that she and the other two children of her mother are the only lawful children of their father. The defendant caveated and alleged that as the widow by customary law she is entitled to share in the estate, and further that her daughter is also a lawful child of the deceased and entitled to share in the children's portion of the estate.

Judgement

APPLICATION for letters to administer the estate of an intestate.

These proceedings are in respect of the administration of the estate of Robert Anyai Yaotey, deceased. The said deceased died intestate on the 18th January, 1961. He was married under the Marriage Ordinance1 but had been divorced for about 21 years before his death. The plaintiff and two other children of the deceased, a boy and a girl, are issues of the marriage. Since the said Yaotey left issue of his marriage under the said Marriage Ordinance surviving him, succession to his estate is governed by section 48 of the said Marriage Ordinance. Under that section the plaintiff and her said brother and sister, as children of the deceased are entitled to share in the distribution of the estate of their said father.

The plaintiff claims that she and the two other children of her mother by the deceased, are the only lawful children of the deceased, and that she is the proper person to whom letters should be granted to administer the estate of her late father.

The defendant opposed the application of the plaintiff for grant of letters to her as the sole administratrix of the estate. Her case is that she is a widow of the deceased by marriage under customary law and that she has a child by the deceased. Impliedly the defendant maintained that the child by the deceased is also a lawful child and that both she and her said child are entitled to share in the distribution of the estate under section 48 of the Marriage Ordinance. And those were the main issues canvassed in this case. They are set out in summons for directions filed by the plaintiff's solicitor as follows:

"(1) whether or not the defendant was married to Robert Anyai Yaotey, deceased, as alleged by the defendant in her statement of defence;

(2) whether or not the defendant is the proper person entitled to grant of letters of administration;

(3) whether or not the defendant and her daughter by the deceased are entitled to a third share of the deceased's estate as alleged by the defendant in the statement of defence."

The status of the defendant's daughter as a child of her father entitled to an interest in her father's estate under section 48 of the Marriage Ordinance does not depend upon a valid marriage between the deceased and the defendant. Her right to share in the estate under section 48 of the Marriage Ordinance depends upon whether or not by the law of this land, she was a legitimate child of her father at the date of her birth. By the laws of Ghana the only child born to a man, acknowledged by the man in his life-time as his child, and to whom he gives a name, who could be regarded as illegitimate, is the child whom a man, married under the Marriage Ordinance, has during the subsistence of the said marriage, with a woman other than his wife by the marriage under the Ordinance: see section 49 of the Marriage Ordinance; see also Coleman v. Shang2 and Ollennu's The Law of Succession in Ghana, pages 49-50 where the subject is discussed in some detail. [p.576]

Now the evidence regarding the defendant's daughter is that she was born after the deceased had divorced the mother of the plaintiff, and that she is now only a young girl at school. According to the plaintiff the dissolution of the marriage between the deceased and her mother took place over 21 years ago. The plaintiff gave the name of the defendant's daughter as Mabel Yaotey, the second name being the paternal family name of the deceased, and is the very name which the plaintiff herself bears. The plaintiff acknowledges her as a child of the deceased, and all members of the family of the deceased who gave evidence in this case left the court in no doubt that the family acknowledge her as a child of the deceased. That being the case, her status as a lawful child of the deceased is conclusively established.

Next is the status of the defendant. The question whether a relationship between a man and a woman is one of marriage under customary law or one of concubinage is a question of law to be determined from the facts and circumstances of the relationship. Marriage under customary law is a lawful marriage recognised by the laws of Ghana. How is it effected, and what are the things which constitute a valid marriage under the customary law? This question has been the subject of some judicial pronouncements. But before we look at some of those decisions, we might look at the evidence of custom given in this case on the issue.

When asked by the court whether there is only one form of marriage by customary law, P.W.l., head of the Yaotey family replied:

"By custom there is more than one form of a valid customary marriage. One is you live with the woman and give something to her family to acknowledge you as her husband. The other is boi ekpaa i.e. six-cloth marriage. No, it is not compulsory that for a woman to be recognised as lawful wife by customary law, she must be married by the six-cloth marriage; the other form of a marriage is also valid and quite good."

At page 49 of Sarbah's Fanti Customary Laws (2nd ed.) the learned author said:

"where the caprice, avarice or ambition of a parent has not been excited to force on a marriage, it will be found by careful study of the people and examination of the local marriage institution, that marriage entirely rests on the voluntary consent of a man and woman to live together as man and wife; which intention, desire, consent, or agreement, is further evidenced by their living together as man and wife."

The case of Quaye v. Kuevi3 is relevant on the question of marriage under customary law. The facts briefly are as follows: Quaye a boy not yet working, lived in the compound of the parents of Akoley, a young girl. Quaye and Akoley entered into relationship which resulted in Akoley becoming pregnant with a child. When Akoley's people discovered her condition and were told by her that Quaye was responsible, they sent to ask Quaye about it. Quaye having admitted, his father sent his sister with a bottle of whisky, and a bottle of rum to Akoley's aunt; the whisky to admit responsibility and the rum to acknowledge Akoley as living with Quaye. Later when Quaye secured a job at Aburi, Akoley accompanied [p.577] him and there lived in the same house with him. Subsequently when Quaye was transferred to Swedru, she went with him, and there also lived in the same house with him openly as man and wife cohabiting. In all they lived together for ten years and had five children. Quaye later became involved with a girl Beatrice Kuevi, whose people thinking they were very enlightened, insisted upon Quaye marrying her under the Ordinance. Accordingly Quaye took a marriage licence for that purpose. Whereupon Akoley entered caveat.

Dean, C.J., who tried the case, took evidence of expert witnesses on the customary law. Among those witnesses were Nii Kojo Ababio, James Town Mantse, and Nii Tackie Obili, Ga Mantse. He also had before him the evidence of Nii Noye Ababio, Osu Mantse, in the case of Engman v. Engman4. After an exhaustive examination of the evidence and the treatment of the subject in Sarbah, Fanti Customary Laws, the learned Chief Justice held that the agreement of the parties to live together as man and wife and the acknowledgment of that state by their families constituted a valid marriage under the customary law. His lordship said: "The Ga Manche deals in his evidence with marriage in two different sets of circumstances: (1) A case exactly like this, (2) The ordinary case of a man proposing to his parents for a bride"5. His lordship then referred to the evidence of the Ga Manche as to the second or ceremonial marriage. He continued:

"As to the other kind of marriage to which he referred, I will quote his words: 'If through illicit intercourse a girl gets in family-way for a boy the girl's parents send to the boy's parents and if the boy admits the act, his parents send the customary rum signifying his admission; if the rum is sent and accepted the girl is recognised as a wife. After that the native customary rites of Bladjo and Adidum are performed-after that, if the girl, is delivered, the man names the child. The parents on both sides and everyone know that the pair are husband and wife'".

It must be pointed out that customary rites of Bladjo and Adidum, referred to by the Ga Mantse in his evidence cited by the learned Chief Justice, are performed only in the case of a girl who has never lived with any man before and who is going to have her first child. Continuing with the judgment in the case, the learned Chief Justice said:

"This evidence in fact argues that the only requisite to a valid marriage is the acceptance of rum by the girl's parents from the man in token of their agreement to his having her to wife ...

"We know that concubines often induce their paramours to treat them as nearly like wives as they can, but this only brings me to what is the real point, viz: that the only valid requisites to a marriage, so far as I can judge from the evidence that has been placed before the Court, are the consent of the girl's parents and also of the parties to marry coupled with the giving of the girl to the man. Such consent is generally signified by the accepting of rum; the other ceremonies act in the same way and are for the same purpose; they advertise to the world the fact that the two parties have agreed to live together as man and wife, which is really the only thing that matters. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that although it is highly desirable that a party seeking to establish a marriage should be able to point to the giving to the girl's parents and acceptance by them of rum as evidence of their consent to the marriage, yet the inability to show that such a [p.578] ceremony has taken place would not in my view of itself be sufficient to invalidate a marriage if the consent of the parties to the marriage were proved by other means and if it were also proved that the parties had lived together in the sight of the world as man and wife. My authority for so saying is Sarbah's Fanti Customary Laws, page 41, where I find these passages: `When there has been marriage in fact, the validity thereof is presumed and when the caprice, avarice or ambition of a parent has not been excited to force on a marriage, it will be found by careful study of the people and examination of the local marriage institution that marriage entirely rests on the voluntary consent of man and woman to live together as man and wife; which intention, desire, consent or agreement is further evidenced by their living together as husband and wife. All other ceremonies and expenses attending marriage are superfluous'. And, again, where the consent of the woman's family cannot be gained, either because they improperly refuse to give such a consent or because they reside in such a distant place that it is impossible to obtain such consent, a man and woman who voluntarily agree to live as man and wife for `life', can contract a valid marriage provided that such agreement is expressly made in the presence of credible and respectable witnesses or in the presence of the Chief or headman of the place followed by the 'man and woman living as husband and wife'.

When once it has been proved therefore by proper evidence that the parties have agreed to and have lived together in the sight of the world as man and wife that of itself is sufficient: the Court should hold that the parties are married according to native custom".6

In the case of Asumah v. Khair,7 the Court of Appeal, in the reasons they gave for their judgment in that case stated inter alia: "Borrowing the words of the learned author of Sarbah's Fanti Customary Laws, we say that the customary law relating to marriage is simple in the extreme."8 They continued:

"But there are other forms of valid marriage. Thus a girl becomes pregnant and her family upon discovering her condition ascertain from her who was responsible. They send to the man to enquire from him. If the man sends some drink admitting liability, and sends a further drink or present (however small the drink or present may be-perhaps a small token sum of money), and if the girl's family accepts the present in addition to the fee on admitting liability, a valid marriage is thereby concluded. By custom, the sending of the additional drink or present amounts to a request by the man for the hand of the girl, and the acceptance of that additional drink amounts to consent by the family."9

It follows from all these that the essentials of a valid marriage under customary law are:

(1) agreement by the parties to live together as man and wife;

(2) consent of the family of the man that he should have the woman to his wife; that consent may be indicated by the man's family acknowledging the woman as wife of the man;

(3) consent of the family of the woman that she should be joined in marriage to the man; that consent is indicated by the acceptance of drink from the man or his family, or merely by the family of the woman acknowledging the man as the husband of the woman; and [p.579]

(4) consummation of the marriage, i.e. that the man and the woman are living together in the sight of all the world as man and wife.

Now, one peculiar characteristic of our system of marriage which distinguishes it from the system of marriage in Europe and other places is that it is not just a union of "this man" and "this woman": it is a union of the family of "this man" and the family of "this woman". That union carries with it certain incidents. For example, it confers upon the family of the man a right to call upon the wife or her family, in certain eventualities, to perform certain customary rites, and imposes an obligation upon the wife and her family to perform those rites; and vice versa; i.e. it confers upon the family of the woman rights to call upon the man and his family to perform certain customary rites in certain eventualities, with a corresponding, obligation upon the man and his family to perform the said customary rites. Since the family cannot exercise a right to demand the performance of the custom from the man or woman except where they, the family, have given consent to the marriage, and consequently recognise the man as the lawful husband to their daughter, and the woman as the lawful wife of their son, it necessarily follows that such demand by a family upon a man or woman to perform custom, is conclusive evidence that the relationship between that man and that woman from whom the demand is made, is one of lawful marriage, and not one of concubinage.

I shall now examine the evidence in this case on the issue of marriage and apply to it the principles of the customary law set out above. The evidence is, briefly, that the deceased Robert Anyai Yaotey, for many years lived openly with the defendant in the same house at Takoradi, and later in the same house at Kaneshie, Accra, and they were living in that house until his death. Upon Yaotey's death the defendant provided sponge, soap, perfume and other customary things for the bathing of the corpse, and she held the feet of the corpse while it was being bathed. In compliance with the demand by Yaotey's family the defendant performed all customary rites which a widow should perform for her deceased husband, except the custom known as okula, which is confinement in a room for three days, ending with bathing in the sea on the morning of the third day. She refused to perform that particular custom because she said it is against her religious faith as a christian of the Presbyterian persuasion. The defendant was provided with maintenance for the duration of the funeral, and upon the determination of that period the family also provided her with mourning cloth for the funeral. Later the family of the deceased, in accordance with custom, gave her in marriage to one Okorley Pobi, a paternal brother of the deceased. The said Okorley Pobi accepted the defendant as such customary wife and gave his family the customary drink to signify his acceptance of the defendant as his wife.

While Yaotey and the defendant were living together, his Yaotey's aunt, mother of P.W.3 died, and later also Yaotey's own father died, and on each of these occasions the family called upon the defendant at the [p.580] funeral of each of them to perform the custom known as fuu meaning burial of, and the defendant complied with the demands and did perform the said full custom.

Yaotey was a civil servant. When he retired and was given a gratuity by the Government he sent G20 through P.W.2 and P.W.3 his uterine cousins, to the mother of the defendant, D.W.1 to be given to the defendant in appreciation of the services the defendant rendered to him while he was in the service.

The late Yaotey has one child, Grace Yaoteley, by a woman Naa Momo Ashong, P.W.4.

The defendant and her mother D.W.1, gave evidence that the deceased gave customary drink of 8 guineas and drinkables to D.W.1 in performance of the customary marriage and that the said things were taken by Yaotey's uterine cousins, the said P.W.2 and P.W.3. P.W.2 and P.W.3 denied taking any such things; and all the witnesses for the plaintiff with the exception of P.W.5, the Rev. Cannon Okwabi swore positively that Yaotey never performed any marriage custom for the defendant. In such circumstances where there is hard swearing on both sides, one set earnestly asserting, the other set vehemently denying, the court must be guided by the circumstantial evidence to determine which of the two groups told the truth.

On the question of the custom which the defendant performed upon the request of Yaotey's family P.W.1, the head of the family, in answer to the court stated as follows:

"By insisting upon the defendant to perform all the customs I have spoken of, the family acknowledged the defendant as the lawful wife of the deceased by customary law; and any person who was present at the funeral would understand that the defendant was a wife of the deceased married under customary law. The reason why the family requested the defendant to perform those customs is because she was a wife to the deceased. By custom the family cannot give a concubine of a deceased member of the family to another member of the family as customary wife. It is only the wife married by customary law whom the family are entitled to give in customary marriage to another member of the family".

On the question of the holding of the feet for the corpse to be bathed P.W.2. in answer to the court stated as follows:

"It is correct that the defendant was the woman who held the feet of the deceased's corpse to be bathed. By custom a woman who holds the feet of the corpse of a man to be bathed, must be the wife of the deceased man not his concubine".

And on the question of the gift of G20 which P.W.3 took to D.W.1 for the defendant, P.W.2 stated as follows:

"The reason why in this case when the deceased wanted to make a gift to the defendant in gratitude for her services, he sent it through her mother but did not give it to her privately as one would do to a concubine is, that he has a child by her, and everybody knows that she the defendant was the wife of the deceased".

P.W.3 gave evidence-in-chief about P.W.4, Naa Momo Ashong, the mother of Grace Yaoteley. The following are the relevant questions and [p.581] the answers the witness gave:

"A. Yes I know Grace Yaoteley, she is a daughter of the deceased.

Q. Did Grace's mother perform custom for the deceased at his funeral?

A. She attended the funeral, but as he had never performed any custom for her as wife, she too did not perform custom for him as a wife".

And this is what P.W.4, Naa Momo Ashong herself had to say in her evidence-in-chief:

"Yes I knew the late Anyai Yaotey. I know Grace Yaoteley, she is my daughter I had her by the late Yaotey. No, he did not marry me either under the Ordinance or under customary law."

"Yes, I know when Yaotey died. Upon his death the chief mourner sent to ask me to perform custom, so I prepared the necessary things and went and performed the said custom for my one child".

Naturally, the witness not being married to the deceased in any shape or form could not be called upon to perform on her own behalf; she could only be requested to perform custom for and on behalf of her child by the deceased, but nothing more. It is significant that though P.W.4 and the defendant each had one child and only one child by the deceased, and the child each had, is a girl, yet the family treated P.W.4 differently. The reason given why P.W.4 was treated in her particular way is that, as she herself confessed, she was not married to the deceased in any shape or form. It follows logically that the reason why the family treated the defendant in her particular way is that to the knowledge of the family she does not belong to the category of a concubine, the category to which P.W.4 confessed she belonged.

On the fuu custom, i.e. custom for burial, which the defendant performed at the funeral of Yaotey's aunt, mother of P.W.4, and at the funeral of Yaotey's father, P.W.3 in answer to the court stated as follows:

"According to custom, where a woman dies, her grandchildren have particular customary rites to perform. According to custom a daughter-in-law is required to perform some customary rites i.e. provide customary sponge for bathing the corpse of her mother or father-in-law; it is called the fuu custom. The customary rite which a grandchild should perform for his grandmother or grandfather is different from the one which a daughter-in-law should perform for her father-in-law or mother-in-law. The custom which grandchildren perform for their grand-father or grandmother is called in Ga `den duku woo.' That performed by a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law is called fuu. The custom which the defendant performed at the funeral of my late mother, and the one which she performed at the funeral of Yaotey's father is the fuu custom."

This evidence means that at the funeral which took place in Yaotey's life-time of both his maternal aunt and of his father, Yaotey agreed with his maternal family in the case of his aunt, and his paternal family, in the case of his father, each family according to the defendant the rights and status of a lawful wife.

The evidence of P.W.4 that the defendant was never married to Yaotey, and that if Yaotey had performed custom for the marriage of the defendant they would have told her so, cannot be taken seriously. As can be gathered from the evidence, she P.W.4, had been associated with Yaotey for some time and had had a child by him long before Yaotey lived with the defendant. Is it natural, that in those circumstances where [p.582] Yaotey did not perform any custom for her, but performed custom for the defendant he would tell her that he had performed custom for the defendant? Then there is the evidence that P.W.4 quarrelled with Yaotey while they were at Takoradi in consequence of which Yaotey sent her back to Accra and that the said quarrel was never settled even though they remained associated. Who knows the cause of the quarrel? It may be anything.

Out of great respect for the Rev. Canon Okwabi, I make no observation on his short evidence which is that as Priest-in-charge of All Saints Anglican Church, Takoradi, he prepared the late Yaotey for confirmation and in consequence the said Yaotey was confirmed in 1955 into full membership of the Anglican Communion, but because he knew that Yaotey had married and divorced some time ago, he did not think it necessary, before having him admitted into the full membership of the church, to ascertain whether he was married or was living singly.

Now one of the incidents of marriage under customary law is that the husband is responsible to provide maintenance and accommodation for the wife, and after his death that responsibility devolves upon his family. Consequently the head of the family is bound to provide maintenance for the widow of a deceased member of the family during the period of the funeral. Thereafter, the family must give the widow to a member of the family as his customary wife, and that member of the family to whom the family assign the widow provides drink to indicate his acceptance of the widow. That man need not in actual fact live with the widow as his wife, but stands in the shoes of the deceased and has to maintain the widow as he would a wife married by himself. If the family of the deceased feel that they are unable to maintain the widow, they must give her a send-off and if the widow does not want to remain the responsibility of her husband's family, she would take proper steps to determine the relationship. The proceedings for the separation of the widow from the family of her deceased husband is, in the eyes of the customary law, the same as divorce proceedings.

Therefore the provision of maintenance for the defendant and the giving of the defendant in customary marriage to a member of the deceased's family, are further proof that the defendant was a lawful wife of Yaotey by marriage under customary law, and that the fact that the defendant was so married is a fact too well known to Yaotey's family.

Another incident of marriage under customary law arising out of the liability of the husband to maintain her is, that upon dissolution of the marriage, accounts are gone into between the parties of gifts the parties have made one to the other, and of money and customary drink each has given to the other's family: e.g. moneys paid as fuu custom and funeral donations. The provision of maintenance and household expenses made by the man to the wife, are not taken into account. It is therefore a rule of the customary law that special gifts which one spouse makes to the other during the subsistence of the marriage should be known to both the family of the donor and the family of the donee, so that in the event of a divorce there should be no dispute, and it would be for the arbitrators [p.583] to determine whether or not that particular gift should form part of the accounts. For that purpose any special gift which a spouse makes to the other is handed by the donor to members of his family who give the same to a member or members of the family of the donee, who in turn deliver it to the donee.

In the case of a concubine there is no liability on the man to maintain the concubine therefore no such accounts are taken upon determination of their relationship. Any present or assistance which the man gives to the concubine is not recoverable. Such monies given to the concubine are absolute gifts to the woman which she should use to maintain herself, and to make herself attractive to the taste of the man. Among the Akans money so given to a woman by her male friend is called sarwie; it is not recoverable: see Sarbah, Fanti Customary Laws, page 42. Therefore by handing over the gift, the amount of G20, to P.W.2 and P.W.3 to take to D.W.1 the mother of the defendant, the late Yaotey published and proclaimed to his family to remind them in case they had forgotten, of the fact that he was lawfully married to the defendant under customary law, and by accepting the said amount and delivering it to the mother of the defendant, the family of Yaotey acknowledged to the family of the defendant their awareness and acknowledgment of that fact, that Yaotey and the defendant were lawfully married; and by D.W.1 receiving the said sum, the family of the defendant confirmed their approval and acknowledgment of the existence of the fact that the defendant is a wife of Yaotey married under the customary law.

In view of these overwhelming admissions, Yaotey's family are estopped by their conduct from now denying that Yaotey married the defendant under customary law.

The expression on the face of each of the witnesses P.W.1, P.W.2 and P.W.3 when each of them said that the defendant was never married to Yaotey, and the demeanour of each of those witnesses in the witness box vividly demonstrated a fierce struggle within each with his or her conscience. The whole of the evidence discloses all the essential elements of marriage under customary law between the late Yaotey and the defendant, a marriage which is valid in every material particular.

I find that the defendant was a lawful wife of the deceased Yaotey, by marriage under the customary law. Therefore Yaotey having died intestate, survived by issue of his marriage under the Marriage Ordinance,10 the defendant, by virtue of section 48 of the Marriage Ordinance, became entitled to a two-ninth's share of the estate real and personal of her said deceased husband Robert Anyai Yaotey. This case is therefore on all fours with the case of Coleman v. Shang11 cited above.

The last question is what is the share of the plaintiff or the interest which she represents in the estate? That issue necessarily calls in the question of the legal status of Grace Yaoteley the daughter of P.W.4. Is she entitled to share the four-ninths of the estate with the other four [p.584] children of Yaotey? On this question P.W.4 the mother of the said Grace Yaoteley gave evidence which is most damaging to the interest of her daughter, tending to show that she, the said Grace Yaoteley was procreated in adultery and therefore not entitled to share in the four-ninths. On this point also see Coleman v. Shang cited above.

But I feel that great injustice would be done to Grace if such a serious matter like her status should be treated in such a slipshod manner. And that is particularly so, because firstly, Grace herself has not been given opportunity to contest the issue; secondly, I feel that the evidence of her mother, P.W.4 on the point was most misguided; and thirdly, the evidence led by the plaintiff as to the date of the dissolution of Yaotey's marriage under the Ordinance is very vague. All the plaintiff said is that the dissolution took place over 21 years ago. In the circumstances I hold that Grace Yaoteley is of equal legal status with all the other four children of the late Yaotey, and is together with them entitled to the four-ninths of the estate which in law goes to the children of the deceased, one-third of the estate having vested in the family, and two-ninths in the defendant by operation of law.

It follows that the interest of the plaintiff in the estate is not the major interest, and since the main basis of her claim to letters, that she is one of the three only lawful children, has failed, and since the defendant has conclusively established her interest and that of her daughter in the estate, the only way in which the exercise of the court's discretion in granting administration in this case can be most just having regard to the interest of the estate as a whole and of all the beneficiaries, is to follow the line adopted by the Court of Appeal in Coleman v. Shang, supra and grant letters jointly to the plaintiff and the defendant to administer the estate.

It is ordered that letters should issue jointly to the plaintiff and the defendant to administer the estate. The defendant will have her costs fixed at 30 guineas inclusive, to be paid out of the estate.

Decision

Ordered that administration issues jointly to plaintiff and defendant.

Plaintiff / Appellant

A. G. Heward-Mills

Defendant / Respondent

J. Quashie-Idun

Referals

(1) Coleman v. Shang [1959] G.L.R. 390, C.A.; [1961] G.L.R. 145, P.C,

 (2) Quaye v. Kuevi (1834) D. Ct. '31-'37, 69.

 (3) Engman v. Engman (1911) D. & F. '11-'16, 1.

 (4) Asumah v. Khair [1959] G.L.R. 353, C.A.

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