Discriminatory Property Inheritance Under Customary Law in Nigeria: NGOs to the Rescue

The authors argue that the patterns of inheritance and succession, particularly under intestate estate under customary law in Nigeria, have almost as many variations as there are ethnic groups in the country, and many of the variations are discriminatory in practice. The law of succession and inheritance reflects Nigeria's plural legal system. Indigenous customary law developed rules of inheritance for intestacy through the traditional canon of descent, as adapted over the years to changes in the society and the rule of natural justice as applied by the courts. Fortunately, nongovernmental organizations have been active in attempting to rectify the problems of discrimination. The author examines a few of the succession patterns, with particular reference to the discriminatory aspects under customary law, propose reforms and also recognizes the important work done by nongovernmental organizations in Nigeria.
Onuoha, Reginald Akujobi
Source publication: 
The International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law Volume 10, Issue 2, April 2008