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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Customary law, women's rights and the two faces of law in Nigeria
Authors:Worugji, Israel N.E.
Ugbe, Rose O.
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:women's rights
customary law
supreme courts
Abstract:This article analyses the Nigerian Supreme Court pronouncements in two cases: Mojekwu v. Iwuchukwu and Ukeje v. Ukeje. The Supreme Court in these two cases expressed conflicting views on the inheritance rights of women under Igbo customary law. In the latter case, it declared the lgbo customary law and practice, which disinherits women, as unconstitutional. But in the former, the court on the same issue held that customary law and practice is not repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience. Juxtaposing the two pronouncements, this article examines whether the pronouncement in the Ukeje case could be interpreted to mean that the Supreme Court has overruled its own decision in the Mojekwu case, in favour of women rights, or has only introduced some complementary principles in its judicial role in the protection of women's rights in Nigeria. The article argues that this issue notwithstanding, the pronouncement in Ukeje's case has cleared the way for the protection and implementation of women's rights, and should be sustained as such. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]