Imo: Petitioners Seek Female Persons’ Right To Property
Already, the petition, commenced by Queen Ugwoeru’s petition through Change.org, has garnered 495 signatories out of expected 500.
She said: “Growing up, I heard my mother complain about her inability to benefit from her father’s inheritance because of her gender. When the sharing of her father’s estate began, my mother and other female siblings were excluded from the process. It was shocking for me to realise that a male child that was as young as a month old was considered over women who have known their father all their lives.”
According to her, the situation is a sad reality for most girls and women from Imo State, where the Igbo customary law that excludes a female child from partaking in the sharing of her deceased father’s estate is still in practice, even though the Nigerian Supreme Court on April 14, 2014, in a unanimous decision, upheld the ruling of two lower courts, which found this law unconstitutional.
“The 2014 Nigerian Supreme Court judgment stated that: “No matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to the inheritance of her late father’s estate. Consequently, the Igbo customary law, which disentitles a female child from partaking in the sharing of her deceased father’s estate is in breach of Section 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to every Nigerian. The said discriminatory customary law is void as it conflicts with Section 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution.”
“This unlawful customary law should be banished, because it is unconstitutional, a violation of the rights of women and girls, It promotes gender inequality,”Ugwoeru added.