Abolished Anti-women Custom Of Yoruba People Of Nigeria

Abolished Anti-women Custom Of Yoruba People Of Nigeria. Daily Law Tips (Tip 523) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

Although women have greater population and play very vital roles in society, women are often denied their place and rights. From the females that dedicate their time to nauseating unpaid house jobs to the ones leading boardrooms, there are often perceived as lesser humans by their male mates, counterparts, superiors and even juniors. In it all, human rights of females are greatly violated in Nigeria and many are undocumented.

Some customs and traditions are purposely designed to frustrate women and institutionalise their perpetual dependence on men. Such was the custom of the Yoruba people of Nigeria before the custom was abolished by the Courts. By the said custom women were considered as mere property that can be inherited and as such women were not allowed to inherit land or any property. This is an obvious contravention of fundamental human rights of Yoruba women, so the Court abolished it. You will appreciate the wisdom of the Court in the next paragraph.

“The next issue concerns female inheritance. It was contended on behalf of the Appellants that a female cannot under Yoruba Custom inherit land…None of these cases established any Yoruba customary principles that excluded female inheritance of family property. On this issue of female entitlement to inherit family property under Yoruba customary law, I agree entirely with the statement of this Court in SANUSI V. MAKINDE (1994) 5 NWLR (Part 343) 214 at 225. Therein this Court per Mukhtar, JCA said: “It is on record that Adesinyan had two daughters who also begat children and there was nothing to show that as females they and their descendants were not entitled to their ancestors’ property. The position of the law under Yoruba customary law is that all children male and female are entitled to inherit their parents land.” See also the Supreme Court case of ADESEYE V. TAIWO (1956) NSCC 76 where the 1st Defendant/Respondent, a daughter of the deceased and her children were held entitled to inherit the property of her deceased parent. For the foregoing considerations I hold that there is no substance in the contention of the Appellants on this issue which is therefore also resolved in favour of the Respondent.” Per TABAI ,J.S.C


1. Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

2. AMUSAN & ANOR v. OLAWUNI (2001) LPELR-6976(CA)










Feel free to reach the author, ask questions or make inquiries on this topic or any other legal issues via onyekachi.umah@gmail.com or +2348037665878.


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