On 23rd February, 2000, we gave judgment in this appeal and reserved our reasons; we now proceed to give our reasons.
The late Amos Thomas Yalley of the Ebiradze Family of Amanful had in his Will disposed of Houses Nos. 27/2 Ahanta Road and 58/2 Summer Road, all at Takoradi to his son Amos Thomas Yalley, Jnr., the defendant in the action. The plaintiffs, the head and member respectively of the same family claimed that the dispositions to the defendant were unlawful as those properties belonged to the family. A dispute having thus arisen over the issue, the family sought a declaration from the High Court that the properties were family properties: They prayed further for an order ‘detaching’ the properties from the estate of the deceased.
It should be noted that in an earlier abortive appeal at the Court of Appeal, the defendant had conceded that House No. 58/2 Summer Road, Takoradi was a family property. Consequently, the Court in ordering a re-trial, had confined…