Lady wins Court battle over right to Inheritance

As Supreme Court Voids Native Custom that disinherits Female Children!

The Supreme Court last week voided the Igbo law and custom that forbids a female from inheriting her father’s property on the grounds of discrimination and conflicts with the provision of the Nigerian constitution.

The judgment was based on the appeal marked; SC. 224/2004 filed by Mrs. Lois Chituru Ukeje; wife of the late Lazarus Ogbonna Ukeje and her son Enyinnaya Lazarus Ukeje against Mrs. Cladys Ada Ukeje (the deceased daughter) and court held that the practice opposed with section 42 (1)(a) and 2 of 1999 constitution.

Mrs Cladys had sued her mother and brother to court for not been included to be a benefactor in her father’s estate property. It was discovered during the trial that as one of the deceased children, she was qualified to benefit from her father’s property.

It would also be recalled that last Friday, the supreme court held that it was right for the court of appeal in Lagos which was where the family took the case too before they were prompted to appeal to the Supreme Court, 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 the female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance from her late father’s estate.



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