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Madjoub Rafat V. Robert Etrue (1954) LJR-WACA

Madjoub Rafat V. Robert Etrue (1954)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Fraud—Laches and acquiescence.
Estoppel—Owner standing by.


The appellant bought an unoccupied and dilapidated house at a sale under a writ against the respondent’s sister, and received a certificate of purchase, and later built on the plot. The property belonged to the family, who never consented to the sale; the respondent heard of it but did nothing; nor did he or his family do anything while the appellant was building though they knew he was.

It was not until after the appellant had finished building that the respondent sued for recovery of possession on the family’s behalf. He obtained judgment and the defendant appealed.

The trial Judge thought the defence of the appellant was that the respondent plaintiff stood by when the property was being sold and was estopped by the certificate of purchase. What the appellant-defendant” relied on was the family’s standing by while he built without apprising him of the defect in his title.


The respondent and his family knowingly permitted the appellant to incur expenditure on building and thereby waived and abandoned any rights they may have possessed.

Appeal allowed; judgment for appellant-defendant.

See also  Joseph Obodai Laryfa V. The United Africa Co., Ltd & Anor (1939) LJR-WACA

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