Chief Dzadu As Head And On Behalf Of The Members Of Quashie & Anor V. Chief Brihiam For Sedrio Adogo Family & Anor (1943) LJR-WACA
Chief Dzadu As Head And On Behalf Of The Members Of Quashie & Anor V. Chief Brihiam For Sedrio Adogo Family & Anor (1943)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Representative action—Native Tribunal—Plaintiff suing in wrong capacity—Suing in accordance with tribal ideas—Defence possibly prejudiced—Not a mere technical defect.
Native Tribunal—Efidence—Documentary evidence—ProofReception—U nauth ent icated document—No Proof of document.
Plaintiff sued in a Paramount Chief’s Tribunal as representing and on behalf of a branch of the Lotsopi tribe- for possession of certain lands. The defendant did not belong to the tribe. The lands in question were the property of the tribe and had in the past been apportioned among its several branches, and the plaintiff’s branch had taken only one portion. In the Tribunal the plaintiff got judgment for all the lands in the capacity in which he sued.
It was argued that plaintiff’s bringing suit for the whole of the lands, in the capacity of represeetative of a branch of the tribe which could only claim part of them, was in accordance with tribal ideas, because the ancestors of his particular branch had wrongfully purported to alienate the lands, and their descendants should seek to remedy the wrong by suing in the names of the wrongdoers for the benefit of the tribe.
that though proceedings in Native Tribunals are not to be set aside for technical defects when the substantive issues have been well decided, the judgmdit in this case could not be amended to make it a judgment in favour of the tribe as a whole, because, inter alia, the defendants might have had other defences to set up had the claim been made on behalf of the whole tribe. This disposed of the appeal as regards the portions of the lands belonging to branches of the tribe other than the plaintiff’s.
The land which was the portion of plaintiff’s branch of the tribe was the subject of a judgment in favour of the defendant given on 3rd February, 1910, against which plaintiff set up an alleged arbitration award of 18th March, 1910. A document purporting to be a certified copy of the arbitration proceedings and award was admitted in the Tribunal against the defendant’s objection that it was not properly authenticated.
Held: That though itnot to be expected that a Native Tribunal
should require such strict proof of a document as is required by an English Court, yet where, as in this case, the document had been accepted without any proof whatsoever, its reception in evidence waa wrong, and plaintiff was estopped by the judgment of 3rd February, 1910.