Mohammed Wahib Huzaifeh V. Hussein Saba & Anor (1939)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Certificate of divorce under Marriage of Mohammedans Ordinance (Cap. 107)—Proof of Mohammedans Law of Marriage and Divorce as practised by Moslems of Hanafi School in Syria and of of law of Syria on such Marriage—Competency of expert witness.
This was a claim for damages for obtaining an invalid certificate of divorce under Cap. 107 of the Gold Coast Laws and refusal to complete a marriage contracted in Syria. A Mohammedan ” priest ” was called to prove as facts the Mohammedan law of marriage and divorce as practised by Moslems of Hanafi sect in Syria and the effect of such marriage by the law of Syria : no other expert evidence as to the law applicable was given–.
The competency of an expert witness is a question of law for the judge and the fact that the expert has not proved himself up to standard goes to weight and not admissibility. The weight to be atti.ched to the evidence of a Mohammedan ” priest ” in the Gold Coast as expert in Mohammedan law practised by Hanafi sect in Syria is doubtful : he is certainly not a competent expert witness as to law in Syria. Further no clain. for damages under local law was established. Appeal allowed and judgment for plaintiii in Court below set aside.
The appellants are awarded costs in this Court assessed at £38 18s. 5d.