Safiatu Savage-John V. Doudu Jobe & Anor (1944)
LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal
Contract for consideration to devise land to promisee—Bequest to another—Promisee’ s rights—Onus of proof of repayment or falsity of document—Need to join devisee in proceedings.
Plaintiff’s claim was (a) for the premises known as No. 32 Primet Street, Bathurst, and (b) the value of 16 cows. The judgment on claim (b) was not attacked ; this note relates to claim
(a) This claim rested on a docLnent executed in 1921 in which the deceased acknowledged the receipt of £105 10s. from Plaintiff, with which to erect a building at No. 32 Primet Street, on condition that he would bequeath the premises to her for that amount on his death. He left a Will in which the premises were bequeathed to his daughter Sophie.
Defendants pleaded that the document was false. The Judge did not hold it was, but thought that if money was lent, it must have been repaid long ago in all probability, and disallowed the claim. Hence the appeal on this branch of the case:
that the Judge was wrong in regarding the transaction as a loan : it was a contract for valuable consideration to devise land in a particular way and as such specifically enfor–able against the testator’s heir-at-law.
Held also, wat the onus of proving that the document was false, or that the money had been repaid, lay on the Defendants, but was not discharged.
Held further, that no decree could be made without the devisee (the daughter Sophie) being joined as a defendant, as her interest was affected.
The Appellant ig; awarded her taxed costs of this appeal to be paid out of the estate of the testator Malick John.