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Customs Contrary to Law are Void, Says Legal Practitioner

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A private legal practitioner, Albert Gyamfi of Totoe Legal Services, has stressed that the law takes precedence over customs, as customs that are in conflict with the law are considered null and void.

Speaking on Joy News’ The Law, Gyamfi explained that while Ghana recognizes customary law as a component of its legal system, any custom that goes against the law, including Acts of Parliament and the Constitution, is void and cannot be recognized.

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“Ghana is a country that is governed by the rule of law, so if you look at the laws of Ghana, although the laws of Ghana recognize customary law as part of the laws of Ghana, a custom that is contrary to law, in other words, an act of parliament, the CI, the LI, or the constitution is void,” Gyamfi said.

According to Gyamfi, customs should not interfere with the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. Instead, the PNDC Law 111, Wills Act, and Administration of Estate Act, among others, should guide the distribution of a deceased person’s assets, irrespective of cultural or religious practices.

Gyamfi’s comments come amid concerns about the influence of customary practices on the inheritance of a deceased person’s assets in Ghana. He argued that Ghana is not governed by any form of spirituality or scripture, and therefore, any scripture or cultural practice that goes against the laws of Ghana is not applicable.

It is important for Ghanaians to be aware of the laws that govern the distribution of assets after the death of a loved one. This knowledge will help them to make informed decisions about their estates and prevent disputes that may arise due to conflicting customs.

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