An appraisal of the concept of inheritance law in Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Inheritance is the practice of passing on private property, titles, debts, entitlements, privileges, rights, and obligations upon the death of an individual. The rules of inheritance differ among societies and have changed over time. The passing on of private property and/or debts can be done by a notary.

The examples of legacy and progression,[1]especially under intestate estateunder standard law in Nigeria, have nearly however many varieties as there are ethnicbunches in the nation, and large numbers of the varieties are unfair practically speaking. The law of progression and legacy mirrors Nigeria’s plural overall set of laws. Native standard law created rules of legacy for intestacy through the customary group of plummet, as adjusted throughout the years to changes in the general public and the standard of regular equity as applied by the courts.[2]Fortunately, nongovernmental organizations have been active inattempting to rectify the problems of discrimination.

Rather than trying to cover all the patterns of succession, I examine a few of the
succession patterns,[3] with particular reference to the discriminatory aspects under
customary law. I also propose reforms. Finally, I recognize the important work done bynongovernmental organizations in Nigeria.


[1]See T.O. Elias: Nigerian Land Law (1971) 4th edn., Sweet & Maxwell London, chapter 8, p.
120. S.N. Obi: Family Law in Southern Nigeria (1966) p. 880. C.O. Olawoye: Title to Land in Nigeria
(1974), University of Lagos/Evans Brothers London, chapter 6. B.O. Nwabueze: Nigerian Land Law
(1982), Nwamife Publishers, Enugu, p. 86. Smith, I.O.: Practical Approach to Law of Real Property
(1999), Ecowatch Publications Lagos. FinineFekumo: Principles of Nigerian Customary Land Law
(2002), F & F Publishers, Port Harcourt.

[2]All the state High Court Laws in Nigeria provide for the enforcement of only customary laws
that are not repugnant to Natural Justice, equity and good conscience. See example of S.3 Cap 60 Laws of
Western Nigeria 1959; Cap 49 Laws of Northern Nigeria 1963

[3]For further illustrative patterns see: Derret, J.O. (ed.), Studies in the Laws of Succession in
Nigeria
, Oxford University Press London, 1965.

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