A person could not act in violation of the law and ask a court of equity to come to his aid.
Supreme Court, 17th February, 2016 (Civil Appeal: NO.J4/15/2015)
Coram: ANIN-YEBOAH, JSC. (PRESIDING), BAFFOE-BONNIE, JSC., BENIN, JSC., AKAMBA, JSC., APPAU, JSC.
The Appellant commenced an action in the High Court, Kumasi, claiming among others, a declaration that he owned an immovable property situated in Kumasi. As a fact, the Appellant did not have any documentary proof of ownership of the disputed property even though his claimed lease was such as to have complied with sections 1, 2, and 3(1)(f) of the Conveyancing Act, 1973 (NRCD 175). On the other hand, the Respondent did have relevant transfer documents in proof of his ownership of the disputed property although they were in his native name. At the trial, the Appellant called his elder brother to testify to the fact that he was also known by the said native name, but the Respondent challenged this piece of evidence as insufficient. In dismissing the appeal, the Supreme Court, speaking through Benin, JSC., noted that the Appellant’s case was wholly without merit and ought not to have been commenced in the first place. Among others, the Court held as follows:
First, that the plaintiff could not act in violation of the law and ask a court of equity to come to his aid. For the law does not recognize, let alone give effect to a lease of 28 or 21 years which is not backed by any writing, and
Second, proof in law does not depend on evidence given by non-relation(s) of a party; nor does it depend on production of volumes of evidence; nor does it require even supporting evidence. The testimony of a single person may be sufficient in proof of an averment provided it is credible and the witness is reliable in terms of giving first hand evidence.