AN APPRAISIAL OF WOMEN’S RIGHT TO INHERITANCE IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF WOMEN’S RIGHT TO INHERITANCE IN EDO STATE

Abstract

Women have suffered greatly and disproportionately from time immemorial compared to their male counterparts. In some parts of Nigeria, when a man dies his estate goes to his male children leaving the female children with crumbs or nothing at all. In situations where the man dies without having any male child, his property will be given to his younger brother because it is believed that inheritance under customary law is predominantly patrilineal that is, relating to, based on, or tracing descent through the paternal line. This work aims to critically examine women’s rights to inherit properties in different parts of Nigeria, especially in Edo state. This work is going to examine the concept of succession in various ethnic groups in Edo state and the concept of Igiogbe which is commonly known to the binis. This work is also going to examine widows’ right to own shares in their deceased husband’s property. In Nigerian customary law, it is believed that the beneficiaries of the deceased property should only be the blood relatives and the widow is not a blood relative for she only married into the family. Chapter one of this work will introduce the topic and initiate the reader with the general scope of this research paper, the problems encountered in the research and which it seeks to remedy, the aims and objectives of this research, the views of authors and scholars and the methodology of the work. Chapter two is going to explain the meaning of inheritance, the concept of inheritance, the historical overview of inheritance and dive deeply into the modes of succession and give the differences between testate succession and intestate succession. Chapter three will review the enforceability of women’s right to inheritance under the 1999 constitution, it is going to talk about the laws that protect women’s right to inheritance, how enforceable they are, and if they are practicable and it is also going to examine the mode of succession under the various ethnic groups in Edo state. Chapter four will review women’s right to inheritance in other jurisdictions, particularly in Yoruba, igbo, Hausa, itsekiri and igala/ idoma and finally, chapter five will be a conclusion and summary of this work, the observations and recommendations of the writer.

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