Chief Ayomano & Ors V. Ginuwa II & Ors (1943)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Representative action—Plaintiffs’ representative capacity not Appeal fromdisputed—To whom is relief to be granted?
The plaintiffs claimed a declaration of title to land known as Sapele Township, suing on behalf of themselves and the Chiefs and people of the Okpe Clan. Their evidence. that they were entitled to sue on behalf of the Clan was uncontradicted, unchallenged in cross-examination, and accepted by the trial Judge. The trial Judge granted a declaration of title to ” the plaintiffs and to those members of the Okpe Clan who are blood descendants of the founders of the settlement now known as Sapele lands “.
The defendants appealed on the grounds, inter alia, that the judgment was against the weight of evidence, and that the Order of the Court was abortive in that it granted title to persons who were neither identified nor identifiable and who had, not been shown to be the same as the persons on whose behalf the plaintiffs claimed.
There was ample evidence to justify the findings of fact arrived at by the trial Judge, but that the declaration made by him was wrong in form; and ordered, that the declaration be varied to one in favour of the plaintiffs in the capacity in which they stied.
Per Petrides, C.J.: The defendants, who had been found to have no title or interest in the land, were not entitled to object to the form of the declaration.
Per Graham Paul, C.J.: The questions who were the members of the (Ape Clan, and what were their rights inter se, were not in issue.
Appeal dismissed with costs.