Vol. 2, Issue 3 (2016)
The Supreme Court has cleared the customary law inhibitions on the inheritance rights of women in Nigeria
Author(s): Dr Israel NE Worugji, Dr. Rose O Ugbe
Abstract: The paper reflects on the Supreme Court opinion in some cases in which the apex court declared the customary laws and practices which denies women inheritance rights as repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience; and unconstitutional and evaluates the implication of these pronouncements for protection of women’s rights in Nigeria. This is particularly important, because these views have provided further normative and thematic platforms for the actual enforcement and execution of the non-discrimination provisions of the Constitution and the National Gender Policy. In spite of the constitutional provisions on non-discrimination and the national gender policy, the protection of inheritance rights of women has remained an unresolved issue in some Nigerian communities under the customary law. The legislative provisions remained mere declarations and intentions without enforcement and execution. This contribution commends the judicial pro-action and court based advocacy in these cases for the protection of women’s rights in Nigeria. It therefore calls for judicial sustainability of this emergent judicial activism and sustained thematic actions in the protection of women’s rights.