20.04.2005 Crime & Punishment

High Court dismisses motion for Joinder

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Agona Swedru, April 20, GNA-The Agona Swedru High Court has dismissed a motion for joinder filed by Nana Ayirebi Acquah, in connection with a stool land case pending before it. Mr Justice Senyo Dzamepe, presiding judge, made it clear that since the application was brought in bad faith, it was indeed a waste of the court's precious time.

Therefore, having described the application as being frivolous and unmeritorious, Mr Justice Dzamepe dismissed it Recounting the background of the substantive case, a land dispute between the Effutu and Ajumako Traditional Areas , the presiding judge stated that the plaintiff, Neenyi Ghartey the seventh, sued as the Omanhene of the Effutu Traditional Area, while in his supporting affidavit to his application for joinder to the suit, Nana Acquah said he was the Omanhene, having being enstooled on December 21, 1993. Mr Justice Dzamepe pointed out that it was not the duty of the court to determine who was the Omanhene of the Effutu Traditional Area, adding, "that is for a different forum."

"I cannot however accept the two as Omanhene of one Traditional Area. I have not yet come across any law in Ghana that allows two Omanhene occupying the same Traditional Stool concurrently."

The judge stated that in his view, both the applicant and the plaintiff "are fighting the course of the Effutu Traditional Area, that is, fighting the interest of the subjects of the Effutu Traditional Area whose stool one occupies and hold their lands in trust for the subjects of the stool."

Mr Justice Dzamepe said Neenyi Ghartey instituted the action on behalf of all the subjects of the stool, including Nana Acquah, "so there is no need for him joining, since his interest is taken care of by Neenyi Ghartey."

"Granting this application, I think would embarrass the plaintiff since the two would have been claiming the title Omanhene."

In his opinion, therefore, the judge said if Nana Acquah "does not accept the title of Neenyi Ghartey, he should rather challenge the issue at the right forum, and not to join him here as co-plaintiff." Mr Justice Dzamepe wondered how Nana Acquah would join Neenyi Ghartey who "he does not by implication recognise as the Omanhene of Effutu Traditional Area."

He made it clear that no responsible court will grant an application for joinder of an applicant who is claiming the same title as the plaintiff, to join him as a co-plaintiff, adding, "that will be disatrous and cause chaos."

In the light of the foregoing reasons, Mr Justice Dzamepe described as being frivolous and without merit, the motion for joinder filed by Nana Acquah to the substantive land boundary suit initiated by Neenyi Ghartey against the Ajumako Traditional Area, and therefore dismissed it.

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