Kofi Opare V. Elizabeth L. Sampson (1937)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Reversal of native Court by Court of Provincial Commissioner on Appeal from findings of fact.
Held : Following Lord Atkin in Abakah Nthah v. Artguak Benniek,* Privy Council Com-
Appeal 165/1927, facts found by a native Court in a suit relating to land should not missioner
be reversed unless they are clearly wrong ; appeal allowed.exercising
There is no need to set out the facts.JApurisdiction.
j. H. Coussey (with him K. A. Bossman) for Appellant.
E. C. Quist for Respondent.
The following joint judgment was delivered :-
KINGDON, C.J., NIGERIA, PETRIDES, C.J., GOLD COAST, AND WEBBER, C.J., SIERRA LEONE.
In this case the Provincial Commissioner reversed the judgment of the native Tribunal on the facts.
In the case of Abakah Nthah v. Anguah Bennieh, Privy Council Appeal No. 165/1927, Lord Atkin said :—
” By colonial legislation all suits relating to the ownership of land held under native tenure are placed within the exclusive original jurisdiction of native Tribunals, unless satisfactory reason to the contrary is shown. It appears to their Lordships that decisions of the native Tribunal on such matters which are peculiarly within their knowledge, arrived at after a fair hearing on relevant evidence, should not be disturbed without very clear proof that they are wrong, and their Lordships fail to find such proof in the present case.”
In this case this Court, like the Privy Council in that case, fail to find such proof, and is of opinion that the Provincial Commissioner was wrong to reverse the trial Tribunal’s finding of fact on his opinion that the balance of evidence was the other way.
The appeal is accordingly allowed ; the judgment of the Provincial Commissioner’s Court is set aside and the judgment of the Tribunal of the Omanhene of Akyem Abuakwa is restored.
The appellant is awarded costs in this Court assessed at £19 14s. 6d. and in the Provincial Commissioner’s Court to be taxed.