Joseph Obodai Laryfa V. The United Africa Co., Ltd & Anor (1939)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Declaration of title, recovery of possession and claim for damages for trespass—Claim based on legal estate—Failure to prove titleLaches.
Land in dispute was conveyed to brother of plaintiff, was mortgaged by latter to Millers Limited, and then sold to plaintiff who obtained not legal Estate but eluity of redemption. Negotiations were made for re-conveyance but deed was not executed. The premises were put up for sale by public auction at instance of 1st defendant and conveyed by deed to 2nd defendant but the sale was, for the purposes of this case, of no legal effect.
- The deed of re-conveyance on which plaintiff relied was not proved to have operated to pass the legal estate in the land and the decision of the trial Judge that the plaintiff failed to prove his title was upheld.
- As the claim was based on the legal title and not on prior possession of equitable title and plaintiff failed to prove title the claim for recovery of possession and in respect of trespass must also fail.
Held further : even if the plaintiff had proved title the question of lathes would have had to be considered.
I agree with the order as to costs proposed by my brother M’Carthy.