Brief of Kwami v. Quaynor

Brief of Kwami v. Quaynor by Legum

Kwami v. Quaynor [1959] GLR 269

Material Facts:

The plaintiff-appellant was granted land by the Osu Stool in 1933. The defendant-respondent allegedly trespassed on the land, and the plaintiff sued him for a declaration of title to the land, damages for trespass, and an injunction in respect of the land.

The defendant-respondent also claimed title to the same land on the grounds that his father, whom he succeeded, was granted a large portion of land by the elders of Osu Alata Quarter in 1897, and the disputed land formed part of this larger portion, which has been partially developed by his relatives. He also challenged the right of the Osu Mantse to grant a portion of his (the respondent's land) to the plaintiff-appellant.

The trial judge found that after the grant of the land to the respondent’s father, he remained in undisturbed possession till his death in 1933.


Whether the Osu Mantse can grant a portion of the Alata Quarter lands in the occupation of the defendant-respondent to the plaintiff-appellant


The Osu Mantse cannot grant a portion of the Alata Quarter lands without consulting the head and elders of Alata Quarter. The grant of the land to the plaintiff-appellant was void.

Ratio Decidendi:

The Osu Mantse is the proper authority to grant Osu Stool lands, which are lands that do not include Quarter Stool land or Quarter "outskirt" land. It is the head and elders of a Quarter Stool in Osu who are the proper authorities to grant a Quarter land. In instances where outskirt land is unalienated, the final decision whether to make a grant of such land lies with the Osu Mantse, but he cannot make a valid grant without prior consultation with the head and elders of the Quarter.

The land in the present case formed part of the Alata Quarter and was also found to be a developed area. Consequently, it was alienated land, and the Osu Mantse had no authority to alienate it to the plaintiff-respondent. Even if the land was unalienated or undeveloped, the Osu Mantse could not make a valid grant, as he purportedly did in the present case, without prior consultation with the head and elders of that Quarter. While he may reject the advice of the head and elders of the Quarter when it comes to alienation of undeveloped land, he must still consult them. His lordship concluded, "In the result, the appellant’s reliance on a grant so made by the Osu Mantse cannot avail him, and he must therefore in any event fail to establish his title. The trial-Judge therefore properly found against the appellant."


James Town is made up of three quarters/sections/sub-stools. Each quarter has its own lands and this case holds that it is the heads of the quarter that can alienate lands in its own quarter. The mantse of Alata also acts as the mantse of the entire James Town. However, he cannot alienate lands in the other quarters (Sempe and Akumajay) without the consent of the heads of those quarters.