…Female children not second class — Bishop Nwokolo
…Ruling cannot abolish the tradition and custom of Igbos — Osisi Itodo
…Judgment good but communities still have custom and tradition — Igwe Okolo
…Court judgment bastardizes culture and tradition of Igboland — Ugwu
…I agree with the judgment completely — Ezenagu, PG, NUF
…Ends age-long man’s inhumanity to man — Emelobe
…Ruling against Igbo tradition – Abia monarch
THE Supreme Court in a landmark decision, has upheld the right of a female child to inherit properties of her father. By this decision, the apex court has voided the Igbo age-long law and custom which forbid a female child from inheriting her late father’s estate.
The Supreme Court voided this tradition and custom on the grounds that it is discriminatory and conflicts with the provision of the constitution.
The Supreme Court held that the practice conflicted with section 42(1)(a) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution.
The land mark judgment was on the appeal marked: SC.224/2004 filed by Mrs. Lois Chituru Ukeje (wife of the late Lazarus Ogbonna Ukeje) and their son, Enyinnaya Lazarus Ukeje against Ms. Gladys Ada Ukeje (the deceased’s daughter).
“Gladys had sued the deceased’s wife and son before the Lagos High Court, claiming to be one of the deceased’s children and sought to be included among those to administer their deceased father’s estate.
The trial court found that she was a daughter to the deceased and that she was qualified to benefit from the estate of their father who died intestate in Lagos in 1981.
The Court of Appeal, Lagos to which Mrs. Lois Ukeje and Enyinnaya Ukeje appealed, upheld the decision of the trialcourt, prompting them to appeal to the Supreme Court.
In its judgment, the Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeal, Lagos was right to have voided the Igbo native law and custom that disinherit female children. Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the lead judgment, held that: “No matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance from 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 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. In the light of all that I have been saying, the appeal is dismissed. In the spirit of reconciliation, parties are to bear their own costs,” Justice Rhodes-Vivour said.
Justices Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs and John Inyang Okoro, who were part of the panel that heard the appeal, agreed with the lead judgment.
The judgment has evoked mixed reactions from Ndigbo, particularly traditional rulers who are the custodian of the tradition and culture, as well as church leaders.
It is a welcome development – Bishop Nwokolo
In his reaction, the Bishop, Diocese on the Niger, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Owen Nwokolo described the judgment as a welcome development. He said that female children are not second class citizens and should not be treated like one.
“Female children have and should be accorded the same rights given to their male counterparts and therefore should not be discriminated against.
“This is not the first time the Supreme Court has given this judgment. Some years ago, the Supreme Court gavesimilar judgment but we are happy and we thank the Supreme Court for upholding the same judgment and there is no going back in females inheriting their fathers’ property.
“Families should put the judgment in practice and female children should stand up and claim their right. It is not only Supreme Court judgment but God given right and they should take that right”.
Prof. Uzodinma Nwala-led Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, also welcomed the decision, saying, “in today’s world, daughters have proved their mettle in bringing sustainability, honour and dignity to their families. Some of them have played the role of bread-winners for their father’s houses.
“So, it would have amounted to great injustice to continue to deny them the right of inheritance. They should be entitled to a fair share of their family wealth whether married or single.”
Supreme Court ruling cannot abolish the tradition of Igbos – Igwe Itodo
However, a prominent monarch in Nsukka and the grand patron of Enugu State Traditional Rulers Council, and the traditional ruler of Aji autonomous community in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, Igwe Simeon Osisi Itodo, said the Supreme Court ruling cannot abolish the tradition and custom of the Igbos.
Itodo said that any attempt to implement such law in Igboland would provoke chaos and skirmishes among various communities.
He argued that the custom is unique to the people of South-East Nigeria and should not be touched.
“There are traditions which had existed before the law. Before the emergence of law courts, Igbos have their tradition and custom which cannot be wiped out because of Supreme Court ruling.
“There are so many things we have in common which cannot be stopped because of court verdict.
“We are not against that ruling but we would not abolish our customs and traditions which all of us met. You can imagine a married woman coming back to her father to share his property with the sons.
“We would not allow it because it would breed chaos and troubles in our communities. If there are customs that allow such inheritance, let the people continue the practice but it won’t work in Igboland.
“In India, women pay the dowry but the reverse is the case here. We would not abolish our unique customs because of court ruling,” the monarch said.
Custom unfair to Igbo women – Igwe Nnamani
But another prominent monarch and the traditional ruler of Likke Iheaka autonomous community in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State, Igwe Christopher Nnamani disagreed with Itodo.
Nnamani said the custom is unfair to the Igbo women and called on the states’ Houses of Assembly in the South-East to make laws that would domesticate the ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter.
He said that some fathers in their wisdom share their properties to their children while alive irrespective of their sexes, saying that the custom reduced the female children to slavish status in Igboland.
“This unfair treatment of female children does not happen in Northern or Western parts of Nigeria. This explains why females with affluence lord it over their male counterparts in Igboland when they remember the injustice they have suffered in the past.
“If a male becomes the eldest man in his community, he would be entitled to some privileges, which may come in form of royalties but the reverse is the case for the women in Igboland. The challenge is how to implement it now because it is an old tradition in South-East Nigeria.”
For the chairman, Enugu State Association of Town Union Presidents, Chief Paully Eze, “any custom which shows to be manifestly unlawful should be expunged.” Eze, a lawyer, said it is wrong to deny any child inheritance because of sex consideration.
“Any custom that did not meet the test of time, that is, when it is manifestly unlawful should be expunged. I stand strongly with that pronouncement. Nsukka High Court has earlier pronounced it before it was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
“It is very much unfair to deny females right of inheritance of their fathers’ properties. Because it is a new law, it would definitely bring problems in terms of implementation but with time, we would get accustomed to it. It is already causing ripples in my community,” he said.
Chief Augustine Uzochukwu from Ihiala Council Area of Anambra State hailed the judgment just as Igwe Patrick Okolo of Nkpunano community, Nsukka, Enugu State insisted that the Supreme Court judgment must be obeyed by every community in Igboland.
Okolo, however, posited that Nri ancient community stands as the best community to interpret the judgment, “though we concur with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Supreme Court judgment should be upheld in principle in some quarters of Igboland while traditional unwritten constituency holds supreme in most quarters of Igboland.”
Judgment completely right – Ezenagu, PG, NUF
In his reaction, the President- General of Ndigbo United Forum, NUF, Chief Godson Ezenagu, commended the decision of the Supreme Court, saying that granting females access to their fathers’ property is natural, adding that it would give them a sense of belonging in the society.
“According to Igbo tradition, the female child inheritance does not happen and now that the Supreme Court has ruled that they are entitled to that, by natural justice and conscience, I agree with them completely.
“Granting them access to their biological father’s properties is a natural thing. Sometimes, customs handed over from generation to generation can be awkward and can be discontinued.
“For denying them that, they are put in serious jeopardy; they are molested at home and also in their marital home. Their partaking in sharing of property will make them more comfortable than the situation in which they found themselves. That is what is supposed to happen naturally.
“All animals are equal and at the same time, all children are equal. We shouldn’t because of custom deny the female child her natural right.
“So, it is a welcome development and I am sure all people of good faith will support it and advocate that even the ones that have not been done or already done could be revisited. Involving them is the best thing ever, even though they may not get equal share but it will give them some leverage”, Ezenagu said and wished that the same court abolish the practice of a married woman bearing her father’s name in her husband’s home.
“That is the advantage and the disadvantage of the ruling will be that most women may not like to go into marriage because their father is rich and has a lot of property to benefit.
“Whether your husband is rich or poor, you will leave your own family to your husband’s family. Once you are married, you change your family name to your husband’s name. Some women are now attaching their family name to their husband’s name. I think it is wrong.
“I believe the same law that abolished Igbo customs denying female child rights of inheritance will also abolish it. Most educated women are doing it but it is wrong”, he said.
Also reacting to the court decision, Chief Augustine Emelobe, a renowned Chemical Engineer, said that it has removed the unjust and unfair treatment on the female children.
“I support the verdict of the Supreme Court. Children are children irrespective of whether they are male or female. I have always had the notion that it is unjust and unfair on the part of the female children.
“I applaud the Supreme Court as the last hope of the common man in this age-long man’s inhumanity to man.”
“I totally agree with the Supreme Court that the Igbo law and custom, which forbids female children from inheriting their late father’s estate on the grounds that it is discriminatory and conflicts with the provision of the constitution.”
For the President-General of the Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders, Goodluck Egwu Ibem, the Supreme Court decision is a welcome development. According to him, it is a wonderful defense of the girl-child who before now, has been treated as a second class citizen in our society.
“She is seen as the property of her husband who loses all forms of rights once she gets married.
“A man who has only female children in our society loses his rights to certain privileges like being a traditional ruler or his inheritance in his own father’s compound. The situation before now has been very ugly,” he lamented.
“We deeply appreciate the Supreme Court for this landmark judgment that has brought back the confidence of the girl-child in our society today. Communities that
“We are not in the South South and South-West tradition or the Northern part of Nigeria. But in South east it is not the practice that the female child inherit the Father’s property.
“Rather the father can give the female child one or two rooms in case she comes with the husband and the children.
“May be after the ceremony for which they came home they will go back. So, the female child inheriting the father’s properties will be a difficult thing to practice as part of our tradition in Igbo land.
“Just imagine, after the father of the House dies and they say that the most senior of his children who is a female child should inherit the family house of the father in the village.
“What you see we are doing is the steps laid for us by our forefathers. Nobody will built a house in the village and say that his female child will come and stay there.
“By the time, they want to implement this law in Igbo land it will cost a very big problem it will even get to a appoint of those children trying to eliminate themselves if not managed very well.”
“Yes, i can do that to assist my daughter and her husband and children so that they can live a better life if that is what they need to succeed.”
El-Rufai sacks 99 political appointees
El-Rufai sacks 99 political appointees
Governor Nasir El Rufai has said Kaduna state has started implementing its rightsizing policy by disengaging 99 political appointees, but is yet to disengage any state civil servant.
The governor disclosed that only agencies connected to the local government system have disengaged staff and these include the 23 local government councils, SUBEB and the Primary Health Care Board.
El-Rufai who made the disclosure at a media chat with some Kaduna-based broadcast journalists on Thursday night, explained that the disengaged political appointees constitute 30% of political office holders.
‘’So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants. We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees and we have done that,’’ he said.
The governor who spoke in Hausa, said that the rightsizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues that is accruing to the state government from the federation account.
El Rufai explained that the rightsizing commenced with political appointees because their details are clearly known, making it more straightforward to disengage them.
‘’However, civil servants with question marks on the veracity of their data have to be given a chance to clear the doubts before any action is taken on them,’’ he clarified.
The governor said that his government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.
The governor disclosed that it is a fallacy to allege that the salaries of political appointees account for the bloated personnel cost of Kaduna State Government.
‘’In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million , while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion, aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights and other personnel costs. So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,’’ he said.
Justifying the rightsizing of the public service, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by this shortfall of revenue and some states have even reverted to paying the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.
‘’Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84% to 96% of our revenues to pay salaries of less than 1% of the population. The rest of our people, all 99% of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets and support for agriculture to make a living outside government,’’ he said.
The governor however promised that Kaduna state will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.
“We are the first government, federal or state, to pay the minimum wage. We will retain the minimum wage of N30,000 and the consequential adjustments that gave most of our civil servants a 66% salary increase. We will also retain the minimum pension of N30,000 monthly.
“The unified Local Government Service continues to pay the minimum wage, even though they varied the consequential adjustments for their workers below the level for state civil servants,’’ he added.
The governor also promised that the state will still fund free education from primary 1 to the SS3, adding that ‘’we have directed our Ministry of Education to find ways of ensuring that we sponsor students for WAEC exams, the same way that we sponsor them for NECO. ‘’
El Rufai emphasized that basic education is a priority for Kaduna State Government because ‘’we see it as the bedrock for equality of opportunity.’’
LEKKI SHOOTINGS: SANWO-OLU HAS LOST CREDIBILITY, SAYS FSD
LEKKI SHOOTINGS: SANWO-OLU HAS LOST CREDIBILITY, SAYS FSD
By Oladimeji Ramon
A group, the Federal Social Democrats, says the credibility and integrity of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have been diminished by the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki tollgate on the night of October 20.
According to the group, the Lekki incident has eroded the admiration that Sanwo-Olu won with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group, in statement on Sunday signed on its behalf by Olutola Mobolurin, also condemned the harassment of #EndSARS protest leaders through the freezing of their bank accounts and stopping them from travelling outside the country.
The FSD’s statement was titled, ‘Statement by the Federal Social Democrats On the #EndSARS Movement and Violence in the Wake of Lekki Shootings.’
The group said, “Governor Sanwo-Olu, who before now has been credited with responsible and energetic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has by this one act lost his credibility and integrity for many. He has a big task in regaining the confidence of the public and youths; his credibility gap surrounding what happened at the Lekki Toll Plaza is not helped by the insensitive bluster of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the governor’s residence stating that those who were injured and presumably those who died had questions to answer.”
Though the group condemned the destruction of public assets and looting that trailed the shootings at the Lekki tollgate, it said the mayhem pointed to the alienation of a large number of youths from society by government.
It said, “The so-called hoodlums are the youths that have been denied any stake in society by the self-dealing and state capture that have characterised governance over the last 30 years. Millions of our youths have been uneducated, unemployable and with no meaningful social safety net. Even for the millions who are educated and skilled, long-term unemployment has been their experience in the Nigerian prebendal political economy that serves primarily the interests of public office holders and their cronies.
“Some of the ‘hoodlums’ responsible for the trashing of Lagos are the youths and ‘the toughies’ that many politicians have over the years employed to subvert the democratic process through intimidation of voters and perpetration of violence during elections.”
The group said the organisers of the #EndSARS protests deserved commendation for the resourcefulness, transparency and accountability which they demonstrated.
The group condemned “the growing reports of compilation of names of the assumed leaders and facilitators of the protests for government reprisals.”
It said, “Those that are being targeted are reportedly being prevented from travelling outside Nigeria while accounts of some have been frozen. This is hardly the hallmark of a democratic government that is interested in dialoguing with the youths or learning positive lessons from the #EndSARS protests. It is also a violation of the spirit of government’s acceptance of the 5 for 5 agenda. The President should stop all these acts of witch-hunt.”
The FSD solicited support for the Lagos State Government to rebuild and replace the vandalised public assets.
⛔⛔⭐⭐⭐I NEARLY CRIED YESTERDAY WHEN I HEARD WHAT HAPPEN AT FEGGE POLICE STATION AND HOW THE YOUTH RESPONDED TO DPO RABIU GARBA⭐⭐⭐⛔⛔
⛔⛔⭐⭐⭐I NEARLY CRIED YESTERDAY WHEN I HEARD WHAT HAPPEN AT FEGGE POLICE STATION AND HOW THE YOUTH RESPONDED TO DPO RABIU GARBA⭐⭐⭐⛔⛔
A man who never put tribalism, religion or differences in his work…. True to his calling to serve our nation without influence of any politician. Not an Igbo man but he speaks Igbo in a way you will be mesmerized and full of laughter whenever he speaks.. He will tell you “Nwannah why disobeying the law?”
People say police is not your friend but in this man I disagree with that notion. In him, i immensely believe that police is a friend when you meet the good type…. The person I am talking about is my Honorable CSP. RABIU GARBA, the DPO of Fegge Police Station.
Yesterday the youth was rampaging looking for Police Station to burn down. When they troop to his Fegge Police Station with gallons of fuel and weapons, most of his men was grip with fear, Behold !, when he came out, the Chants of the angry youths Change from
” We no go agree oh we no go agree oh” to
“DPO Garba you be our friend,
DPO Garba You be our man”
He addressed then properly, lectured them all and changed their perspective towards embracing calmness.. If you know him well you will know he can lecture very well from every angles of courses, law to Biology , physics to Science, religion to culture, he is the master of all… We fondly call him Professor Rabiu, Onye Nkuzi. Tears nearly fall from my eyes, tears of Joy and appreciation of a good man still serving and existing in Police.
This is a Police man i have ever see who believe that hardworking pays. He is a police man and a Farmer as well. He is a Police man and a Civil Engineer. He is a Police man and a Lecturer as well…
To me, I am encouraging all police men and woman to emulate this Young man and learn from his Public relation skill. Because I strongly believe Public relationship should be practiced to serve the public interest, to develop mutual understanding between organizations, the neighborhood and their publics.
As a Psychologist, i have noticed that without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.”
DPO Rabiu Garba we all know was the man who single handedly build a Borehole water for the people of Fegge Where his station is situated without donations from the public. If i lie verify from anyone you know living in fegge.
He also Organized Sports event for the youth at fegge Stadium where he normally engaged them in Table Tenis playing competition after work.. He walks among all without gun, knife or tear gas because he does his work diligently without corruption. So no fear of the mob.
He attends many church events he is been invited for around onitsha which shows his sense of unity.
When police do bad we mock them when we see one doing good pls my brothers and sister let us encourage that one as to lift his or her spirit to do more because ndi ba anyi is na Etoo dike na nkem omeru omekwa ozo….
DPO Rabiu Garba anyi Oha nile. No wonder people once cried when you wanted to leave to another Station. How i wish we have thousands of police men and women like you, the Police institution would have been so harmonized…..keep up the good work. Good market sells itself in the market…
No wonder Odumeje cherish you so much.
Thank you once again for the way you handled the youth matter yesterday which resulted to zero casualties at Fegge District…
Honourable Ozoigbondu na Umuoji. ( Odoakpa ward 7 Youth Mobilizer and Organizer)
Pls read and Share to appreciate a good work.