H. M. Darko V. Ag Yakwa (1943)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Appeal from Native Tribunal—Procedure—Deposit of costs under section 82 (2) of the Native Administration (Colony) )-Ordinance (Gold Coast) Cap. 76—Deposit insufficient—No,jurisdiction in Provincial Commissioner’s Court to hear appeal. Appeal to West African Court of Appeal—Appeal not from hearing on merits—Jurisdiction of West African Court of Appeal under section 82 of Cap. 76, proviso—Discretion to hear appeal.
Plaintiff succeeded in a claim in a Native Tribunal and defendant applied to the Tribunal for leave to appeal to the Provincial Commissioner’s Court. Plaintiff had not submitted his bill of costs for taxation, and defendant did not move the Tribunal to assess the costs or to call on plaintiff to submit the bill, but instead deposited £18 against payment of the costs in purported compliance with sec. 82 (2) of the Native Administration (Colony) Ordinance. The Tribunal granted conditional leave to appeal.
Before the appeal was heard the total costs had been assessed at £26 2s Od, and accordingly the Provincial Commissioner’s Court held that the provisions of sec. 82 (2) had not been satisfied and there was no jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The defendant appealed from this decision and from the judgment of the Native Tribunal.
that the decision was correct.
Held, further, that although the hearing in the Provincial Commissioner’s Court had not been one on the merits, the West African Court of Appeal had jurisdiction to hear the appeal, if it thought fit to do so in the exercise of the discretion conferred by the proviso to sec. 82.
Held, further, that this was a proper ease for the exercise of this discretion in favour of the appellant (defendant), because he had probably acted in ignorance in the matter of the deposit against costs, and because he had been misled since it was the duty of the Tribunal to refuse conditional leave to appeal where the provisions of sec. 82 (2) had not been strictly complied with.