Broadening the interpretation of section 42(2) of the 1999 constitution vis-a-vis the right to succession under Nigerian customary laws
Ani Chijioke Collins
Over the years, the provision of section 42 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which its origin can be traced to section 39 (2) of the 1979 Constitution had intervened and offered succor to certain individuals who for reasons of some circumstances surrounding their birth were marginalised, disparaged, denied and deprived of certain benefits. Under some Nigerian customary laws, the gender and the legitimacy status of an individual is crucial and critical in determining the respect, input and influence a person may wield in the community. This gender and legitimacy status is also key and a determinant factor in defining a person’s right to succession. The import of section 42 (2) is to remove those perceived impediments, disabilities or deprivation associated with a person because of the circumstances of such person’s birth. This paper appraises the extent to which the Nigerian Courts have interpreted and applied this constitutional provision in line with Nigerian native law and customs and also makes a strong case for the extension of the protection offered by section 42 (2) to certain categories of persons who by the restrictive interpretation of the section by the Courts are being precluded from this shield provided by Section 42 (2).
Ani Chijioke Collins. Broadening the interpretation of section 42(2) of the 1999 constitution vis-a-vis the right to succession under Nigerian customary laws. International Journal of Law, Volume 7, Issue 5, 2021, Pages 160-166