First wife’s request to own half of husband’s property rejected by court

"To award her 50% of the Respondent’s property when he currently has two other wives and other children is, in our view, inequitable and a slavish application of the old principle in Mensah v Mensah," the court held.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

Awarding the first wife, Ayishetu 50% of the husband’s properties is inequitable, and a slavish application of the old principle in Mensah v Mensah.

Due to the polygamous circumstances of the husband, who has two other wives and children apart from his child with the petitioner, this would have been purely unfair.

Also, the petitioner, Ayishetu's Ashalle Botwe property which she acquired exclusively during the subsistence of their marriage was not considered by the High Court in the sharing of the property.

The above forms part of the judgment of the Court of Appeal presided over by Ackah-Yensu J.A.(As she then was).

In a judgment of the divorce petition filed by Ayishetu Abdul Kadiri against Abdulai Dwamena, the trial High Court ordered the latter to convey all his interests in the second house to the frontage property to the Petitioner who shall thereafter exercise control as sole and exclusive owner.

Court of Appeal

However dissatisfied with the judgment, the respondent filed an appeal challenging the outcome of the High Court trial.

One issue that came up during the appeal was the ownership of an Ashalle Botwe property purportedly owned by the petitioner.

However, per the applicant’s failure to adduce enough evidence to support the fact that he supported Ayishetu in the construction of the property, the court established her as the owner.

Further, the court made a finding that the trial High Court limited itself to the equality is equity principle in the Mensah v Mensah case without averting its mind to the exceptions in its application.

In the end, the court upheld the appellant’s ground(C ) arguing that the High Court erred by failing to include  Ayishetu’s Ashalle Botwe property in the matrimonial property before sharing same.

The court thus allowed the appeal and rather awarded a  lump sum payment of GHC 50, 000 to the petitioner as a financial provision.

Read the full judgment on Dennislaw.