Once upon a time, you may be required to produce an affidavit to certify some situations. You may have heard of the word ‘Affidavit’ in the movies, in the news or just in passing.
So, if you’re here reading this right now, let’s take a brief look at the meaning of Affidavit, why you need it and how to acquire one in Ghana.
An affidavit is a legal document signed by a person by law to affirm, declare or promise. In other words, an affidavit is a written statement made on oath that states facts, provides evidence or proof, and is admissible in the Court of Law.
An affidavit may be accepted when you don’t wish to testify in a court of law. Find below how to acquire an Affidavit in Ghana.
Types of Affidavit In Ghana
There are different reasons why one would need to apply for an Affidavit. It is however important for you to understand the following types of Affidavit before taking the step to acquire one.
- Affidavit of Name Change
- Affidavit of Identity theft
- Affidavit of Death
- Affidavit of age declaration
- Affidavit of residence
- Affidavit of child custody
- Affidavit of divorce
- Affidavit of inheritance
- Affidavit of sworn statement
These are not all the types of Affidavits there are but just a scratch on the surface. Just as the names imply, every affidavit type performs a particular function. And the types are based on the various functions they perform.
Outline For Affidavit In Ghana.
The process of preparing an affidavit has been put into simpler steps in the subheadings listed below. Please read through them carefully to understand how they work.
- Title of Affidavit
The topic of the Affidavit should give the reason why it is being written. For instance, you could write “Affidavit of child custody”. This makes it easier for whoever wants to read to immediately realize what the document is about.
It is also necessary to add your full name in the title.
- Statement of Identity
This is a statement providing your personal information. It starts with your name, age, occupation, place of residence, and any other information important to this effect.
Another thing to note is that, if you aim when writing an affidavit provide someone with an Alibi, you’d need to include your relationship with the person in your statement of identity.
- Statement of Truth
A statement of Truth is the written form of swearing an oath in a court of law. It is just a short sentence that assures the court of your honesty.
For example ” I, Kweku Sika, swear that the information in my sworn statement is truthful to the best of my knowledge and understanding…”
- State the facts
This is the part where crucial information is given with regards to the title of the Affidavit. You’re expected to stick to the truth as you’ve sworn and state facts as much as you can.
You’d be expected to provide details, time, date, names, and so on. Do not bother interpreting your statement over and over again. That is a job left for lawyers to do.
- Reiterate your statement of truth
In the light of stating your facts, reiterating your statement of Truth translates to swearing once again that your information was from due honesty.
Specifically, “I, Kweku Sika, swear that the information given above is truthful to the best of my knowledge and understanding”.
Simple and concise.
- Sign and notarize
All the processes up until this point can be done privately but a licensed witness or notary should be present before the Affidavit is signed.
You’d need to provide the notary with valid identification to prove that you are who you claim to be.
Also make sure that, during this process, your rights are not infringed upon. Once you are done, you’ll need to visit your District Magistrate court or any local court nearby for the registrar’s endorsement.
In most cases, your Affidavit will be typed out in a legal document before the signature is applied.
When Do You Need An Affidavit?
Although the types of affidavits clearly explain the various uses of these legal documents, there’s the question of when one may need to prepare an affidavit. See the points below:
- You may write an affidavit to detail an event.
- You may write an affidavit to claim an inheritance.
- An individual is expected to write an affidavit to verify one’s address.
- An affidavit is needed to record business earnings.
Acquiring an Affidavit in Ghana is not free of charge. Depending on the kind of affidavit you need, be informed that you’ll spend not less than 50 Dollars to acquire one.
It is also important to note that when writing an affidavit, you have to say everything as it is without telling a lie. Knowingly lying in an affidavit is deemed as unlawful and called perjury.
You could serve jail time or get fined for this offence. To be in safer hands, please do well to contact a lawyer before you proceed to acquire an affidavit.