IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
ACCRA - A.D 2018
ISAAC MENSAH - (Defendant/Appellant)
JEROME MANSO -(Plaintiff/Respondent)
DATE: 17 TH MAY, 2018
APPEAL NO: H1/78/2018
JUDGES: F.G. KORBIEH J.A. (PRESIDING), AGNES M. A. DORDZIE (MRS.) J.A., I.O.TANKO AMADU J.A.
MRS. PHIPPINAH ACKEAH FOR THE APPELLANT
MR. FAUSTINUS KOFI KORANTENG FOR THE RESPONDENT
F.G. KORBIEH, J.A.
The plaintiff/respondent’s claim against the defendant/appellant in the court below basically was for declaration of title to a piece or parcel of land whose boundaries he described as follows: “bounded on the North-East by the Lessor’s land measuring 136.2 feet more or less on the South-East by the Lessor’s land measuring 210.9 feet more or less on the South-West by the Lessor’s land measuring 211.8 feet more or less which said piece or parcel of land is more particularly delineated on the Plan attached hereto and thereon marked PINK.” He therefore issued a writ of summons in the Lands Division of the High Court, Accra making the claim which writ was accompanied by a statement of claim containing averments that have been summarized as follows: in or about 1999 the plaintiff was granted the land by the Numo Sowah Din Okpelor family of Teshie acting through its true and lawful attorney, Nii Okpelor Jacob Ablorh Mensah; in or about 2003, Suit No. CS. 28/2003 titled David Ofantser & 2 Others v.
The Dzasetse of Nungua Stool had been instituted by the plaintiff and his grantors over land including the land in dispute and judgment had been declared in favour of the plaintiff and his grantors; his grantors having executed an indenture in his favour, he exercised various acts of ownership and possession over the land and later travelled abroad; during his absence the defendant, who claimed to have bought the land from an unknown grantor, trespassed unto the land and caused damage to the developments he had made on the land; he had reported the matter to the police at Nmai Dzorm but it had later been transferred to the Property Fraud Unit at the Police Headquarters for further investigations. The defendant/appellant denied the claim and averred, among other things in his amended statement of defence, that the plaintiff’s grantor had no land to give to the plaintiff. He averred that he acquired his land from DW1, Yakubu Abdalla, who had acquired the land from the plaintiff’s grantors through a consent judgment titled Nicholas Tawiah & 3 Others v. Adjorkor Okpelor Sowah & 3 Others.
The defendant/appellant further averred that DW1 confirmed the grant in an instrument dated 7/9/2009 which was being processed at the Land Title Registry. He also averred that he acquired bare land and an unofficial search at the Lands Commission had revealed that there was a judgment in favour of his grantor and that subsequently he exercised overt acts of ownership over the land by constructing a bedroom wooden structure on the land but the plaintiff destroyed the said structure. He also further averred that the plaintiff could not have been a bona fide purchaser of the land since he (the defendant) was prior in time to have acquired the land and exercised overt acts of ownership. He described the boundaries of his land as follows: “…bounded on the North by a proposed road measuring 211 feet more or less on the South by the Assignor’s land measuring 209 feet more or less on the East by the assignor’s land measuring 135 feet more or less on the West by the assignor’s land measuring 105 feet more or less…”
It was on the basis of this summary of pleadings that the case went to trial. We will deal with salient points of the evidence as and when the need arises. Suffice now to say that judgment was given in favour of the plaintiff/respondent. Part of the judgment reads as follows:
“From this I glean the land the Din Sowah family conceded and gave to the defendant’s grantor was not for the Din Sowah family at the time the family purported in court to have given to Yakubu Abdalla, and which became the subject of the judgment of Ofosu Quartey, J. wherein he even ordered the Lands Commission to plot and register same for Dw1.
As far as the judgment covered the land which at the time of the consent judgment and the Memorandum of Understanding was no longer the property of the Din Sowah family, then no title passed from the Din Sowah family to Yakubu Abdalla for him to have given to defendant”.
Obviously dissatisfied with the judgment, the defendant/appellant filed a notice of appeal in which he tabulated the following as his grounds of appeal:
a) The judgment is against the weight of evidence.
b) The trial judge failed to consider the doctrine of bona fide purchaser for value without notice. The error of law has occasioned the defendant/appellant substantial miscarriage of justice.
c) The trial judge failed to consider the legal effect of all the exhibits, especially exhibit 3 (the search report).
Error of Law:
The trial judge did not consider the evidence that the defendant had no notice at all of the plaintiff’s interest in the property.
The reliefs the defendant/appellant is seeking from this Court are the following:
(i) The judgment of the trial court should be set aside and judgment entered in favour of the defendant/appellant.
(ii) Any other relief(s) the Court of Appeal may deem meet.
Even though there is no laid down rule of procedure by which the Court deals with the sequence of the grounds of appeal (where there are more than one) it makes good and logical sense to start our discussion from the starting point of the defendant/appellant (hereinafter simply referred to as the appellant) and his counsel. We shall accordingly begin from the written submissions of counsel for the appellant. Counsel’s approach, as stated by her, is to take grounds (a) and (b) together and argue them at one go. This is a matter of style and the argument by counsel for the respondent that she has not made out ground (a) can only be adjudged to be true or false after her whole argument on those two grounds has been fully considered. It must however be pointed that when an appellant makes a plea, in a notice of appeal, that the judgment is against the weight of the evidence, two important legal principles immediately come into play; one is that the appellate court has a duty to re-hear the case and the other is that the appellant himself has a duty to satisfy the appellate court that the judgment complained about is deficient in terms of the evaluation of the evidence. We shall briefly consider each of these two principles. First, the principle that an appellate court must re-hear the case on appeal: this is provided for in rule 8(1) of the Court of Appeal Rules, 1997 (C.I. 19) wherein it is stated that:
“An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall be by way of re-hearing and shall be brought by notice of appeal.”
The duty of the Court of Appeal to re-hear a case on appeal is trite law because apart from the statutory provision, it has been famously pronounced on in many well-known cases. Only a few will suffice. In the case of Tuakwa v. Bosom [2001-2002] SCGLR 61, the Supreme Court, per Sophia Akuffo, JSC (as she then was) said as follows:
“Furthermore, an appeal is by way of re-hearing particularly where the appellant, that is the plaintiff in the trial court in the instant case, alleges in his notice of appeal that, the decision of the trial court is against the weight of the evidence. In such a case, although it is not the function of the appellate court to evaluate the veracity or otherwise of any witness, it is incumbent upon an appellate court, in a civil case, to analyse the entire record of appeal, take into account the testimonies and all documentary evidence adduced at the trial before it arrives at its own decision, so as to satisfy itself that, on a preponderance of the probabilities, the conclusions of the trial judge are reasonable or amply supported by the evidence.”
In Akufo-Addo v. Catheline  1 GLR 377 it was held that:
(3) Where an appellant exercised the right vested in him by rule 8(4) of L.I. 218 and appealed against a judgment on the general ground that "the judgment was against the weight of evidence", the appellate court had jurisdiction to examine the totality of the evidence before it and come to its own decision on the admitted and undisputed facts. Since on the evidence the plaintiff had clearly failed to discharge the burden of proof on her, the Court of Appeal could not be legitimately chastised for reversing the trial judge's finding that she had.
Similar sentiments were expressed in such cases as Aryeh & Akakpo v. Ayaa Iddrisu  SCGLR 891and recently Owusu-Domena v. Amoah [2015-2016] 1 SCGLR 790. We therefore proceeded to consider the appellant’s case on the basis of a total review of the appeal record bearing in mind the second principle of law hinted at above which posits that an appellant who complains that the judgment is against the weight of evidence has the duty to point out those pieces of evidence which, if considered by the trial judge, would have turned the case in his favour but which the trial judge failed to consider or those pieces of evidence wrongly applied against him but for which the case would have gone in his favour and that the onus is on such an appellant to clearly and properly demonstrate to the appellate court the lapses in the judgment being appealed against. See the cases of Djin v. Musa Baako [2007-2008] 1 SCGLR 686; Bonney v. Bonney [1992-93] Part 2 GBR 779 and Awulae Attibrukusu III v. Oppong Kofi & Others  34 GMJ 126.
Having now set the ground rules, so to speak, for the consideration of the arguments for and against grounds (a) and (b) of the appeal, we shall proceed to make a determination of those two grounds which, just to refresh our memories, are couched as follows:
(a) The judgment is against the weight of evidence.
(b) The trial judge failed to consider the doctrine of bona fide purchaser for value without notice. The error of law has occasioned the defendant/appellant substantial miscarriage of justice.
But at this juncture we are compelled to draw attention to not just the form but also the substance of appellant’s counsel’s handling of her notice of appeal as well as the accompanying written submissions. Ground (b) alleges error of law particulars of which ought, under rule 8(4) of C.I. 19, to have been clearly stated or else risk being struck out under rule 8(7). In ground (b), she alleged error of law but failed to give the particulars of the error. But tugged somewhere after ground (c) is this rather contentious statement:
“Error of Law:
The trial judge did not consider the evidence that the defendant had no notice at all of the plaintiff’s interest in the property.”
Throughout out her written submissions, counsel for the appellant made no attempt to revisit this debatable statement that passed as an error in law much less to try to explain to us which law it was that the trial judge had breached, failed or neglected to apply except unless she was referring to her general and comprehensive complaint that the trial court had failed to consider that the appellant was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice; in which case the ground ought not to have been categorized as one of an error in law. If, on the other hand, the “Error of Law” was meant to come under ground (c), it was abandoned altogether, as will be demonstrated in due course. Besides, by its very wording, the statement could not have been an error in law but one alleging a failure on the part of the trial judge to properly evaluate evidence. We have therefore decided not to invoke the provision of rule 8(7) of C.I. 19 on ground (b) because there is clearly no error in law as alleged by counsel. We shall now resume our consideration of grounds (a) and (b) of the grounds of appeal.
As we pointed out earlier, the onus was on the appellant to point out to us those pieces of pieces of evidence which, if considered by the trial judge, would have turned the case in his favour but which the trial judge failed to consider or those pieces of evidence wrongly applied against him but for which the case would have gone in his favour and that the onus is on such an appellant to clearly and properly demonstrate to the appellate court the lapses in the judgment being appealed against. The appellant and his counsel emphasize that “at the heart of this appeal is the determination of whether or not the Defendant is a bona fide purchaser of value without notice…” (sic) hence the decision to argue grounds (a) and (b) together.
Counsel for the appellant acknowledged herself that since the appellant claims to be a bona fide purchaser for value without notice, the onus is on him to have proved that indeed he was what he claimed to be. That indeed is the correct position of the law. The dictum of James, L.J at page 269 in the case of Pilcher v. Rawlins [1871-72] 7 LR Ch. 259 is the benchmark citation in this respect. In the case of Duodu v. Benewah  2 SCGLR 1306, the Supreme Court held that “The plea of bona fide purchaser for valuable consideration must be established by the party putting forward the plea.” Having set herself the task of proving that the appellant was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice, counsel next alleged that the appellant had pleaded that he was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice but failed to point out where exactly in the appellant’s pleadings this averment had been made. The appellant’s amended statement of defence can be found on page 189 of ROA and it consists of 14 paragraphs. The only mention of the phrase “bona fide purchaser” is in paragraph 13 thereof but it is only in reference to the respondent (plaintiff) and not the appellant (defendant). It reads as follows:
“13. The Plaintiff cannot be a bona fide purchaser of the said land by reason of the Defendant’s prior acquisition and overt acts of ownership exercised by the Defendant.”
This can in no way be interpreted to mean or imply that the appellant was himself a bona fife purchaser for value without notice. It must however be pointed out emphatically that pleadings play a very crucial role in the over-all determination of a case. It was held in Deshina Building Works Ltd. v. Buah  GLR 390 that where a fact is not pleaded no issue is joined on it between the parties hence it cannot be an issue for trial; accordingly, any evidence led in respect of that issue was a complete departure from what was on trial and would be ignored altogether. This point was re-emphasized in the case of Hammond v. Odoi [1982-83] 2 GLR 1215 at 1235 where Charles Crabbe, JSC described the functions of pleadings as follows:
“Pleadings are the nucleus around which the case - the whole case - revolves. Their very nature and character thus demonstrate their importance in actions, as for the benefit of the court as well as for the parties. A trial judge can only consider the evidence of the parties in the light of their pleadings. The pleadings form the basis of the respective case of each of the contestants. The pleadings bind and circumscribe the parties and place fetters on the evidence that they would lead. Amendment is the course to free them from such fetters. The pleadings thus manifest the true and substantive merits of the case. And the reply is very much a part of the pleadings.”
In the latter case of Klah v. Phoenix Insurance Co. Ltd Bamford-Addo, JSC re-iterated the importance of pleadings in a case. The failure therefore of the appellant to have pleaded that he was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice sounds the death knell to his ground of appeal that the trial judge failed to consider his evidence pertaining to the issue whether or not he was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice. Where therefore the pleadings disclose no issue arising from the pleadings, it would be most unfair to blame the trial judge for not bringing up an issue that never arose from the pleadings. Again, as contended by counsel for the respondents, which we entirely endorse, and which counsel for the appellant herself conceded, the plea of bona fide purchaser for value is a defence that the appellant needed to raise and to lead evidence on to prove. But as we have just demonstrated, he did not even raise the defence. It is therefore not surprising that out of the ten substantial issues set down for trial in the case, not one was an issue to determine whether or not the appellant was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice. The issues set down for trial were the following:
(a) Whether or not Nii Okpelor Jacob Ablorh Mensah, the true and lawful attorney of the Numoh Sowah Din Okpelor Family of Teshie has land at Nmai Dzorm, Teshie-Accra to give to the plaintiff.
(b) Whether or not judgment was granted in favour of the plaintiff and his grantors in Suit No. CS 28/2008 titled David Ofantser & 8 Ors v. The Dzasetse of Nungua & 6 Ors. Concerning land including the one in dispute currently.
(c) Whether or not plaintiff exercised various acts of ownership on the land prior to this dispute.
(d) Whether or not there exists an alleged judgment dated 25th June, 2008 and if the said judgment overturned the High Court judgment dated 9th December, 2004.
(e) Whether or not plaintiff is entitled to his claim.
1. Whether or not the plaintiff destroyed the fence wall and set fire to the security house and wooden structure of the defendant.
2. Whether or not the plaintiff was charged by the police for the destruction caused to the defendant’s property.
3. Whether or not Yakubu Abdalla is the owner of a piece of land measurinf 0.58 acre situate, lying and being at Namai Dzorm, East Legon to convey to the defendant.
4. Whether or not the defendant acquired a bare land from his grantor, Yakubu Abdalla.
5. Whether or not the defendant exercised overt acts of ownership over the said land.
None of these issues remotely resembled the issue whether or not the appellant is a bona fide purchaser for value without notice. And yet it is the contention of counsel for the appellant that at the heart of this appeal is the determination whether or not the appellant is a bona fide purchaser for value without notice. Since it was not one of the issues set down for determination by the trial court, we think that it is simply an after-thought on the part of the appellant and his counsel to bring up that issue now and try to blame the trial judge for something they never set out to prove in the first place. In saying so, we are not unmindful of the rule that in a civil case involving proof of title of land, the onus is always on the plaintiff to prove his title on the preponderance of the probabilities. See the case of Akoto II & Others v. Kavege & Others [1984-86] 2 GLR 365 where Francois, JSC said that:
“The suit being one for a declaration of title, the plaintiffs have an onerous burden to discharge. This is trite law and would have necessitated no further comment but for the procedure adopted by the plaintiffs of throwing this burden to the winds.”
See also the case of Yoguo & Another v Agyekum & Others  GLR 482 at page 486 where the Supreme Court said as follows:
"The claim being one for a declaration of title, the plaintiffs can only succeed upon the strength of their case and not upon the weakness of that of the defendants. The counterclaim of the defendants for a declaration of title did not in any way lighten the weight of the burden upon the plaintiffs to prove their title by preponderance of admissible evidence. Even in a suit for trespass where the plaintiff can succeed just upon proof of possession, a defence which denies his title and a counterclaim for title by the defence places upon the plaintiff a burden to prove his title satisfactorily or else he must fail…”
See also the case of Abbey & Others v. Antwi V  SCGLR 17. In this case, by the appellant’s counsel’s own confession, he was out to prove that he was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice; an averment which he never pleaded and therefore was not an issue before the trial court. Had he averred the plea, he could have been considered a counter-claimant and therefore expected to lead evidence to prove his claim of being a bona fide purchaser. But he never did! We could therefore have, as allegedly done by the learned trial judge, ignored any and all of the appellant’s evidence adduced in trying to prove that he was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice since no issue was joined between the parties on that score. However, out of the abundance of caution, we will consider briefly the evidence proffered by the appellant in support of his allegation that he is a bona fide purchaser for value without notice. According to counsel for the appellant, this evidence consisted of both oral and documentary evidence. But rather than give examples of the appellant’s evidence in support of his claim, counsel devoted her time and effort in trying to prove that the respondent had not succeeded in proving his title. Counsel obviously forgot that the plea of bona fide purchaser for value is a shield and not a sword. It is premised on the assumption that the plaintiff has a good title but the defendant has a superior title on the equities because at the time of the purchase he did not and could not have known of the title of the plaintiff. Counsel for the appellant seems to acknowledge this fact herself when she says in paragraph 5.0 on page 12 of her written submission that:
“…Assuming without admitting that the land is for the Plaintiff, it is out humble submission that the Plaintiff failed to discharge the burden of prove (sic) imposed upon him under law to deserve a declaration of title to be made in his favour.”
Her beef was that there were inconsistencies in the evidence of the plaintiff. Indeed, if there were inconsistencies in any parties evidence against the claim before us, it is that of the appellant. It must be borne in mind that we are re-hearing this case. From our perusal of the ROA, the appellant’s evidence is that he acquired bare land and proceeded to clear it and put some structures on it. It is however not disputed that the respondent was the first to enter the disputed land which was in 1999 when he put up a wall round it (see page 144 of the ROA) To re-inforce our point, this is also part of the evidence-in-chief of PW2:
“Q. Plt/Cl: So when the person told you that Jerome needed some work to be done for him, what happened after that?
A. Jerome sent me to a plot of land which he said was his and there were plants and trees on that land.
Q. What work did Mr. Manso ask you to do for him?
A. He asked me to clear the land, destump and erect a wall as well.
Q. Does it mean that when he sent you there, there was no wall at all?
A. My lord, there was no wall the place was bushy.”
But this is also part of the evidence-in-chief from the side of the defence:
“Q. Dft/Cl: What was the state of the land you acquired from Mr. Yakubu Abdala?
A. Dft: It was bare land and very bushy. I had to take a grader to grade the whole area. The road was not motororable so I used a grader to grade the whole road leading to the site.”
It is therefore the case that either the appellant was not telling the truth or he was referring to a different plot of land altogether when he said he acquired a bushy plot. A careful examination of the site plan attached to exhibit A (the respondent’s indenture) and the site plan attached to exhibit 3 (the search result conducted by the appellant) and the respective description of the boundaries of the lands of the parties show that they are either the same or lie in very close proximity to each. This therefore confirms the finding made by the learned trial judge that the parties were ad idem on the issue of the identity of the land hence no issue arose from it. So it is rather surprising that the appellant adduced the kind of evidence he did concerning the state of his land when he first went on it. In any case, as pointed out by counsel for the respondent, the matter could be resolved by looking at the evidence of P.W.1, the common grantor of both the plaintiff and the appellant’s grantor. His evidence can be found on page 198 of the ROA. He testified that “Yakubu Abdalla’s land is a boundary neighbour to Jerome” and that Abdalla encroached on the plaintiff’s land. P.W.1 had a legal duty to protect the grant his family made to the respondent. This accorded well with native custom which compels a grantor to ensure that whenever the grantee’s title is threatened it is well protected. In the case of Bruce v. Quarnor & Others  GLR 292 @ 294 Ollennu, J (as he then was) said as follows:
“By native custom, grant of land implies an undertaking by the grantor to ensure good title to the grantee. It is therefore the responsibility of the grantor, where the title of the grantee to the land is challenged, or where the grantee's possession is disturbed, to litigate his (the grantor's) title to the land; in other words, to prove that the right, title or interest which he purported to grant was valid.”
Following from all of this, the learned trial judge made a primary finding of fact that by 2008, the Numo Sowah Din Okpelor family had divested itself of any interest in the land in dispute. He therefore held that the appellant’s grantor had nothing to pass to the appellant in their 2008 transaction. The nemo dat quod non habet rule was thus applied and there is no way the appellant can wriggle out of it. This rule is of common law origin but has found expression in so many of our decided cases that only a few need be cited here for elucidation. In Tetteh & Another v. Harford (Substituted by) Larbi & Decker  1 SCGLR 417 it was held as follows:
On application of the nemo dat quod non habet maxim, the Asere Stool, having divested itself of its interest in the land in favour of the original defendant long ago in 1974, had nothing with regard to the divested land to convey again; and so any purported sale of the already divested land, subsequently made to the plaintiff, is null and void.
In the case of Seidu Mohammed v. Saanbayee Basilide Kangberee  2 SCGLR 1182, the Supreme Court, per Dotse, JSC again stated emphatically as follows:
“This principle of nemo dat quod non habet operates ruthlessly and by it an owner of land can only convey title that he owns at the material time of the conveyance and since by the evidence on record, Anna Benieh Yanney, had divested herself of title in the same parcel of land to Emmanuel Yaw Nkrumah, the plaintiff’s vendor on 12 – 12 – 1986, there was definitely no title left in her to convey to any other person, at the time the conveyance to defendant’s vendors was effected. The conveyance to the defendant’s vendors and subsequently to the defendant herein are therefore null and void and of no effect.”
The law is that findings of fact made a trial court are presumed to be correct until proven to be wrong by the appellant. In the case of Oxyair Ltd & Darko v. Wood & Others [2005-2006] SCGLR 1057, the Supreme Court held that:
“…..Furthermore, it was settled law that an appellate court would presume the findings of fact of a trial judge to be right, unless the presumption had been displaced by the appellant.”
As stated earlier, there was no dispute that the respondent acquired his title to the land in dispute as early as 1999 and his grantors, who were also the grantor’s of the appellant’s grantor, had divested themselves of any more interest in the land in dispute. The trial judge’s finding was therefore supported by evidence on the record. That being the case, we have no option but to uphold the finding that no title passed from the Din Sowah family to Yakubu Abdalla for him to have given any title to defendant. We accordingly reject the argument by counsel for the appellant that the respondent failed to prove title to his land as all the examples of the evidence cited by counsel were rather inconsequential. Flowing from the above, we also uphold the trial judge’s decision that the respondent succeeded in proving his title to the disputed land. Grounds (a) and (b) therefore fail and are hereby dismissed.
We shall next consider ground (c) which is couched as follows: the trial judge failed to consider the legal effect of all the exhibits, especially exhibit 3 (the search report). Counsel for the appellant however goes completely off tangent and states in paragraph 7.0 on page 17 of her written submission that “the next ground for consideration with respect is ground 1 which is as follows:
“The trial judge failed to consider the doctrine of bona fide purchase of value without notice. The error of law has occasioned the Defendant/Appellant substantial miscarriage of justice” (sic)
Counsel then proceeded to re-argue her case for the doctrine of a bona fide purchaser for value without notice all over again; saying nothing whatsoever about ground (c) of the grounds of appeal. But ground “1” is a completely new ground of appeal which infringes the rules and is accordingly hereby struck out. In practice, counsel for the appellant is deemed to have abandoned ground (c) and we shall treat the ground as such. That being the case, this ground of appeal also fails and is hereby dismissed.
The appeal therefore fails in its entirety and is accordingly hereby dismissed.
We shall now proceed to respond to the plea of counsel for the respondent that the judgment be varied under rule 15 of C.I. 19. The appeal for variation is to cater for general damages that the respondent had asked for in his amended writ of summons but which the trial judge had inadvertently failed to award him. This notice for variation can be found on page 369 of the ROA. It is provided in rule 15(1) and (2) of C.I. 19 follows:
“(1) It is not necessary for the respondent to give notice by way of cross-appeal, but if a respondent intends on the hearing of the appeal to contend that the decision of the Court below should be varied, the respondent shall give, within one month after service of the notice of appeal, written notice in the Form 7 set out in Part One of the Schedule of the intention to every party who may be affected by the contention.
(2) The respondent shall clearly state in written notice the grounds on which the respondent intends to rely and within the same period shall file with the Registrar of the Court below five copies of the notice, one of which shall be included in the record.”
Indeed, the trial judge did hold that the respondent was entitled to all of the reliefs endorsed on his writ. This is what he said:
“All the reliefs the plaintiff endorsed on his writ are accordingly granted and judgment is hereby entered for the plaintiff.”
It must have been out of inadvertence, therefore, that the trial judge did not award any measure of general damages to the respondent and it will only be fit and proper for us to do so. There can no doubt that there was sufficient evidence on record to entitle the trial judge to grant general damages to the respondent. For instance, the appellant destroyed the fence wall and other structures that the respondent put up on his plot. (See pages 144 and 162-5 of ROA) In the case of Borkloe & Another v. Nogbedzi & Another 1982-83] GLR 1003, this is what the Court of Appeal had to say:
“The basic principle of the measure of damages in cases of loss of chattels is restitutio in integrum. It was stated in a leading case where damage was caused to a dredger that: ‘the owners of the former vessel are entitled to what is called restitutio in integrum, which means that they should recover such a sum as will replace them, so far as can be done by compensation in money, in the same position as if the loss had not been inflicted on them, subject to the rules of law as to remoteness of damage."
See also the case of CFAO v. Thome  GLR 107 SC where it was held that:
(6) The measure of damages to which the plaintiff was entitled was such sum of money as would put him in the same position as if the repairs had been carried out by the company; that was to say, the cost of repairs. In assessing the damages the court ought to take judicial notice of the decline in value of money.
General damages are inferred by the law and they need not be proved. They are also nominal in quantum. See Delmas Agency Ghana Ltd. V. Food Distributors International Ltd. [2007-2008] SCGLR 748. In view of the law on the quantum of general damages to be awarded, we award the sum of GHC⊄10,000.00 as general damages to the respondent.
Finally, save for this variation, the judgment of the court below is hereby affirmed.