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Akwa Ibom court rules that females can inherit property

An Akwa Ibom High Court has ruled that females can inherit properties, nullifying an ancient tradition in Etinan council area of Akwa Ibom state which denied female children the right to inherit their father’s properties. 

Justice Pius Idiong made the ruling following a lawsuit filed by eight children of the late Obong Patrick Joseph Noah of Edem Ekpat to stop their aunt, Mrs. Gertrude Ekanem from inheriting the landed property of her sister, the late Immaculata Noah, who died and left behind the property without a husband or a child.

The appellants contended that their aunt cannot inherit her sister’s property located at number 24 Iman Street, Etinan, because she is a woman and had also been married out of the family.

However Justice Pius Idiong described such practice as anachronistic, primitive and unconscionable which should not exist in the 21st Century society. He further stated that any custom that denies a woman an inheritance on the ground of her gender, is not only unfair, but runs contrary to the fundamental objective of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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