Araba Tsetsewa Head Of Her Family For Herself & Anor V. Joseph Dobson Acqvah & Ors (1941)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Family Property—Houses built largely at expense of one of three brothers—Slight contribution from otherinembers of family—Properties in name of the three brothers jointly—Can surviving brother Ina ke valid testaMentary disposition, thereof—Applicability of English law or Fanti customary law.
[Here one of three brothers was employed by a commercial firm in the French Ivory Coast. He remitted money and materials to his other two brothers who supervised the building wherein the members of the family helped in labour and materials. The house was occupied by members of the family later the three brothers built another house again with the assistance of the family. From the profits of these ventures four otli r properties were purchased. The properties stood in. the joint names of the three brothers. All three brothers are now deceased. and plaintiff as head of her family claims the properties as family property. The defendant contended that Joseph the .last survivor of the joint holding could make a valid disposition of these properties, and this contention was upheld by the Provincial Commissioner’s Court.]
The evidence adduced on behalf of defendants was not sufficient to rebut the strong presumption in favour of family property which is the rule among Fanti-speaking people. Native law and custom must govern the case.