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Colonial Cases

Kofi Ayah v. Kweku Boabin, 1871

[succession]

Kofi Ayah v. Kweku Boabin

Gold Coast
8 April 1871
Source: J.H. Sarbah, Fanti Law: Reports of Decided Cases on Fanti Customary Laws, Second Selection (Clowes and Sons, London, 1904)

 

April 8, 1871

KOFI AYAH v. KWEKU BOABIN AND OTHERS

Before Chalmers, Judicial Assessor.

Stool-holder - Installation - Deposition - Grounds for same.

Plaintiff's writ was - "For mischievously attempting to deprive plaintiff of the right and use of his ancestors' stool he occupies; and to show because why you should not be ordered by this Court to cease from making such unlawful attempt."

   Plaintiff states: I had ancestors living at Manpon in the Winneba district, who had a stool, which they succeeded in succession.  It got to my turn.  Chief Mayan came there and sent for me.  He had a table brought into the public place, and writing materials.  The names of the slaves were all mentioned.  Then Chief Mayan directed the big drums to be beaten, and it was done.  On that I was taken into a room, where I saw a stool - that of my predecessor.  I was placed to it.  Northing was said to me.  I objected, and said I did not wish to occupy it, but had been asked to come to Manpon, and had done so.  They said to me, the stool belongs to you, take it. So they had me to occupy the stool, and I did occupy it.  According to custom, I was shut up in on a room for a week.  Then on the ninth day I was taken out and carried round.  Then two young woman were given to me to be my wives; also a little boy as my servant.  Chief Mayan directed that I should buy a puncheon of rum, and provide 20 ozs. of gold, a  sheep, and four kegs of gunpowder'; which I did.  The whole people of the town drank rum, shared the gold, and killed the sheep.  After this, Chief Mayan came to Cape Coast Castle.  I could not get the people to attend me; they were very disobedient. .   .   .    Lately, the people made palaver with me.  I came to Capo Coast Castle.  They had me before Chief Mayan and   said I had called them slaves, and that I had said if Chief Mayan knew the stool was his, he would have taken it.  There was palaver, and Chief Mayan decided that I was wrong in calling the people slaves, and that he was offended about the statement made on himself.  On that, the people s aid they would not permit me to occupy the stool.  I have made expenses and incurred debt in consequence of occupying the stool.  When the principal chiefs came, I had to entertain and accompany them at my expense.  I do not know whether it is competent to the people of a stool to depose the occupant.  Chief Mayan and another placed me on the s tool.  Chief Mayan's authority consisted in his being of the same tribe as myself, namely, Twidan, the Tiger tribe, and I look upon him as my grandfather.  Chief Robertson expresses the opinion on the customary law that - "where a person elected to a stool is deposed by those who put him on it, not on grounds of misconduct, but for mere dislike, hew has a claim against them for expenses he may have incurred in respect of the stool."

Judgment

It does not appear that Ayah has been deposed by any competent authority.  It is ordered that the people of the stool to which he was appointed do pay due respect and obedience to him as the occupant thereof by their own election; with liberty to them, on showing cause, to apply for the removal of the said Kofi Ayah in a lawful and customary form.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School