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Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision - Culture - Nairaland

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Supreme Court’s Decision On Female Inheritance Divides Igbos / China People And Culture In Anambra / Stop Promoting Igbo Culture Says Dein Of Agbor (2) (3) (4)

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Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by AprokoGirl: 5:02am On Sep 08
The Supreme Court judgment granting inheritance to the girl child in Igboland has put an end to a culture that has held the society together as patriarchal. TONY OKAFOR assesses how this judgment may improve the lot of the girl child in the area of inheritiance
Before the judgment, it was almost like an abomination, to say the least, for a typical Igbo father to bequeath an estate to his female child. This practice necessitated the saying, ‘Nwanyi bu ama onye ozo’ (a girl child belongs to another family).

What did the Supreme Court say? The apex court in what has been described as a landmark decision, upheld the right of a female child to inherit the property of her father in a unanimous decision. By that judgment, the court voided the age-long Igbo tradition and customary law, which forbade a female child from inheriting her father’s estate.

The Supreme Court voided the tradition and custom on the grounds that it was discriminatory and conflicted with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The court specifically held that the practice conflicted with Section 42(1) (a) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution.

The judgment was given in an appeal marked: SC.224/2004 filed by Mrs Lois Chituru Ukeje, wife of the late Lazarus Ogbonna Ukeje, and their son, Enyinnaya Lazarus Ukeje, against Ms Gladys Ada Ukeje, who is the deceased’s daughter.

Gladys had sued the deceased’s wife and son before the Lagos High Court, claiming to be one of the deceased’s children and sought to be included among those to administer the deceased father’s estate.

The trial court found that she was a daughter to the deceased and that she was qualified to benefit from the estate of her father, who died intestate (without a will) in Lagos in 1981.

The Court of Appeal, Lagos, to which Lois and Enyinnaya appealed, upheld the decision of the trial court, prompting them to appeal to the Supreme Court.

In its judgment, the Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeal, Lagos, was right to have voided the Igbo native law and custom that disinherit female children. Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the lead judgment, held that: “No matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance from her late father’s estate.”

Justice Rhodes-Vivour added, “The Igbo customary law, which disentitles a female child from partaking in the sharing of her deceased father’s estate is a breach of Section 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to every Nigerian.

“The said discriminatory customary law is void as it conflicts with Section 42 (1) and (2) of the Constitution. In the light of all that I have been saying, the appeal is dismissed. In the spirit of reconciliation, parties are to bear their own costs.”

The judgment has evoked mixed reactions from custodians of Igbo culture, lawyers and commentators.

Victor Ononye, a public affairs commentator said, “That judgment will haunt those who delivered it, because what goes around comes around. You do not give a judgment that not only negates the tenets of age long tradition and culture and foist disharmony on families, where women scorn and wantonly abandon marriages and return home to cause trouble with their male siblings.

“Those judges merely countered natural justice. Right from the time of Adam and the Biblical time, men were established as heads of families and I hope those judges have families. The judgment was more of an academic exercise that conflicts with tradition and culture.

“They have created another round of trouble. By the way, in Igboland, few women, who do not marry, always have a place to stay. The courts should be mindful not to set fire on families. They should also deliver judgments that can stand the test of time.

“A good percentage of women desire to marry, leave their fathers’ compounds and start new families with their husbands without creating division in their fathers’ compound. Why would any sane woman come back to split her father’s family, married or not? That judgment is something else.”

For Uche Okafor, a lawyer, the judgment will need distinction or review.

He said, “The Supreme Court judgment needs judicial interpretation/review. The judgment was about an unmarried daughter of a deceased man, who was denied her father’s hereditament. If the woman was married, would the Supreme Court have given the same opinion? Would that not amount to equity aiding double plates for a married woman to get shares from her matrimonial home as well as from her maiden home? I think the judgment needs to be distinguished.”

But Chief Akunwebe Emechebe, an Igbo culture enthusiast, disagreed with the lawyer.

He said the judgment should apply to both married and unmarried daughters of a man.

Emechebe stated, “The court interpreted and applied the law as it is. Our laws – the constitution, the statutes and the international conventions – frown on discrimination against persons on the grounds of sex and not on the grounds of the marital status of a person.

“Unless and until these laws are amended to bring the aspect of married or unmarried in the laws, the position of the laws as it is today is the position taken by the Supreme Court.

“The courts are not interested in whether the female in question is married, unmarried, remarried, divorced, etc in their decisions.”

The Bishop, Diocese of the Niger, Anglican Communion, Anambra State, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo, described the judgment as a welcome development.

He said female children were not second class citizens and should not be treated like one.

The cleric stated, “Female children should be accorded the same rights given their male counterparts and therefore should not be discriminated against.

“Families should put the judgment in practice and female children should stand up and claim their rights. It is not only Supreme Court judgment, but a God-given right and they should claim that right.”

Ngozika Iheagwam, a housewife saw the judgment as an unwanted reversal of a people’s culture and opined that the ruling would cause chaos in many Igbo societies.

She said, “What concerns the Supreme Court with the Igbo culture? Every woman should look forward to getting married and settling down in her matrimonial home.

“Why should she start going back to her father’s home to start fighting over property with her male siblings? That judgment will manifest absurdity in Igboland. I don’t support it.”

The President, Ohanaeze in Anambra State, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, said bequeathing property to a man’s daughter was not alien to Ndigbo, and as such, the Supreme Court judgment should not be seen as strange or a surprise to Igbo people.

He said, “Most fathers buy cars, build houses and so on for their daughters upon marriage. So, it’s wrong to say that the Igbo don’t give their daughters their property.

“If a daughter is not married or is divorced, our custom and tradition require the father to provide accommodation for her in his house. If a man has a commercial property, say a house, he can give a part of it to his daughter to manage and earn money from it accordingly. All these are done in Igboland. So, it’s wrong to say that a girl child in Igboland is disinherited from her father’s property.

“But I must say that not everything can be shared between the male and female children of a man.

“Ancestral property is exclusive to male children of a man and our daughters know that very well.”

He added that it would be an absurdity and even an abomination for a man to bequeath such ancestral property to his daughters.

“Who will ever think of a man to give his Obi (ancestral home/house) to a daughter, who may be married to an Ibadan man in the name of equity or law? That’s unthinkable. Therefore, the Supreme Court judgment has limitations or exclusions like any other law, but it is not totally strange to us, the Igbo,” Okeke-Ogene stated.

For the traditional ruler of Nawfia and Umunri, Igwe Chijioke Nwankwo, the Supreme Court judgment could be enforced but would be difficult to implement in most Igbo communities.

According to him upon marriage, daughters are settled by their parents, who give them certain shares of the family property, a privilege he said male children do not enjoy during their marriage.

The monarch stated, “Igbo people don’t bequeath the female children certain property for security reasons.

“Certain property, particularly land, in Igboland belongs to the living, the dead and those yet to be born. So, you don’t give such out to a female child, who may have a bad marriage and such property will be lost forever.

“Some revert to the families upon the death of the beneficiary; that is why the Igbo don’t give such property to women, who may even transfer the land to philanderers.”

Only time will tell how the judgment will fare in the Igbo society.

https://punchng.com/female-inheritance-supreme-court-igbo-culture-in-head-on-collision/

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Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Temitopemo6e6(m): 5:03am On Sep 08
I totally support this. This is what drives most men
with daughters to go and look for women who would bear them male children.Women are no less then men. I support this That's nice.. every child deserves the best..

HBD to me

155 Likes 7 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Ab0bi: 5:07am On Sep 08
Truth be told, the Judiciary system can't abolish a long practiced tradition.

It's a futile battle.
muykem:
What are you saying? Your long practice tradition that is repugnant to fairness and justice.
Name a tribe without a repugnant tradition and I will take you serious.

85 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by obami007(m): 5:10am On Sep 08
I just pray they start allowing females have the full rights of inheriting properties after the judgment.

In Nigeria, it is one thing for the court to rule, it is another thing for the judgement to be carried out or implemented

21 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by IamWonderful: 5:12am On Sep 08
Backward people, ndi civilization in the news but ndi ayoyo at local, ndi baby factory ritualism, ndi osu, Ohu, oru, ume and DIALA.

42 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Ab0bi: 5:15am On Sep 08
obami007:
I just pray they start allowing females have the full rights of inheriting properties after the judgment.

In Nigeria, it is one thing for the court to rule, it is another thing for the judgement to be carried out or implemented
It's futile....Igbos won't implement it.

44 Likes

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by jumobi1(m): 5:19am On Sep 08
Women should have inheritance rights but wills will circumvent a SC decision contrary to the current Igbo culture. Eventually we shall get there.

2 Likes

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by stonemasonn: 5:37am On Sep 08
Who inherits if you only have daughters.

6 Likes

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Peacemaker5129(f): 6:53am On Sep 08
Had it been it is Hausa culture
Some misguided boys from that side would be here abusing them

60 Likes 6 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by helinues: 6:55am On Sep 08
Ndi developers still dragging about female inheritance in 21st century..

Truly, civilization came late to the region

58 Likes 6 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Peacemaker5129(f): 6:56am On Sep 08
stonemasonn:
Who inherits if you only have daughters.
brothers and drunkard uncles
They will leave deceased daughters to suffer

47 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Charmingrascal(m): 7:04am On Sep 08
A father will suffer with her daughters (especially a man with only female children) perhaps the daughters endure so many things before their father become rich but after his death some Uncles who know nothing about what their brother went through with his family will now come and say they want to inherit what they didn't work for.

That's indeed a very cruel culture that should outrightly be dumped.
It is wrong and archaic, there shouldn't be any justification for discrimination against the girl child

104 Likes 8 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Globad: 7:07am On Sep 08
It's hard to believe that this kind of archaic and primitive culture is practiced anywhere in Nigeria.

So so unbelievable. It's so backward

37 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Charmingrascal(m): 7:10am On Sep 08
stonemasonn:
Who inherits if you only have daughters.

They say it's some kaikai drinking Uncles who have no idea what sacrifice some of those daughters have to make and things they endured with their late Dad.

It is so sad in this 21st century greediness is backed by culture that should have been archaized long ago

50 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Dedetwo(m): 7:13am On Sep 08
The so-called Supreme court of Nigeria proved to me that everything which comes out of the shithole in Nigeria is idiotic. No court of any nation on earth will want to adjudicate the vices in culture and tradition of the people unless when human life is paramount. The vices in the culture and tradition of people are usually handled by the people with increase level of development. No woman in Igbo land would be allowed to carry her father's house to her husband's home.

31 Likes

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by muykem: 7:14am On Sep 08
Ab0bi:
Truth be told, the Judiciary system can't abolish a long practiced tradition.

It's a futile battle.
What are you saying? Your long practice tradition that is repugnant to fairness and justice.

7 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by helinues: 7:14am On Sep 08
LaboPolitics:


yoruba were rejoicing because they want to a leeway to still Igbo men properties by marrying Igbo daughters and insult Igbo customs which even settle Igbo daughters with properties upon marriage. Kolewerk!

Let the same yoruba SC judge Bode Rhodes-Vivour also make a judgment that women in yorubaland have the right to Oba of Lagos, Ooni of Ife and Alaafin of Oyo.

If he won't do it, I'm sure an Igbo judge or Hausa judge will be glad to do so, since both men and women are now culturally equal in law.

Quoting someone is not a must most especially when there are no intelligent things to say...

This time, slow down, drink water and read over what you wrote above..

64 Likes 11 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by propsvilla3: 7:14am On Sep 08
The Solution to this problem is in the hand of the Father. Write your will and include your Daughters in the inheritance to stop any form of drama. I can't share my properties without including my lovely daughters.

42 Likes

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by LaboPolitics: 7:15am On Sep 08
helinues:


Quoting someone is not a must most especially when there are no intelligent things to say...

This time, slow down, drink water and read over what you wrote above..

Are you intelligent?

12 Likes 1 Share

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by propsvilla3: 7:17am On Sep 08
Globad:
It's hard to believe that this kind of archaic and primitive culture is practiced anywhere in Nigeria.

So so unbelievable. It's so backward
In as much as I crave for adjustment but just know that Culture cannot be primitive. It is peoples way of life and You have to respect that.

4 Likes

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by helinues: 7:18am On Sep 08
LaboPolitics:


Are you intelligent?

27 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by kurupt1: 7:20am On Sep 08
Globad:
It's hard to believe that this kind of archaic and primitive culture is practiced anywhere in Nigeria.

So so unbelievable. It's so backward
Sharrap my friend! Ur amongst the people that are making these women more stupid and entitled.
An igbo woman usually gets anything but ancestral property and Igbos have a reason for this.its a culture and not subjugation

23 Likes

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Peacemaker5129(f): 7:21am On Sep 08
Nigeriacalls:
[s][/s]
jobless ipob miscreant with 1000 monikers. I know you will tired of this one day
Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by helinues: 7:24am On Sep 08
Nigeriacalls:
[s][/s]

Nigeriacalls ?

So your Nigeria calls is to spend 15 hours of your time on NL and be cancelling comments of people with contrary opinions to yours ?

See someone pikin.....

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by Dedetwo(m): 7:25am On Sep 08
propsvilla3:
The Solution to this problem is in the hand of the Father. Write your will and include your Daughters in the inheritance to stop any form of drama. I can't share my properties without including my lovely daughters.

The only Will you can write which should be meant for your lovely daughters is to get married by a good man and into a good family. Whatever property you accrued why alive remains in your father's house or compound.

2 Likes

Re: Female Inheritance: Supreme Court, Igbo Culture In Head-on Collision by helinues: 7:29am On Sep 08
Nigeriacalls:
I'm fixing and teaching my recruits at the same time.
currently on national anthem

how's my recruit haffaze777?
it's been a while

grin grin

Anyways, your other daily side hustle dey on NL... NLT

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