LEGAL IDEAS FORUM

WIDOWHOOD:THE UNFORTUNATE FATE OF A NIGERIAN WOMAN. BY NJOKUDAVIDCHIBUEZE

A CONFERENCE I DID NOT ATTEND,
A HISTORIC SPEECH I NEVER DELIVERED,
AN ARGUEMENT I DID NOT SUBMIT,
A SEASONED FINAL ADRRESS, AN UNDILUTED SUBMISSIONS BY CBND BREWED FOR KNOWLEDGE AND JUSTICE.

.. it is an unbecoming anomaly, that we continue to defend in the 21st century an act which has become in itself anachronistic, unattractive, barbaric, redundant and moribund.

to adduce that a woman, a widow should not inherit the property of her deceased husband’s property because a native custom says so is indeed saddening.

successive judicial pronouncements has been made to the effect that those customs do not pass for law in Nigeria because they have failed the test of validity of customary law. hence, a custom which impedes on the right to property by a female folk is not in tandem and not at par with the Constitution, it is however incompatible and as well repugnant.. it must be completely defaced and totally ignored.

why do we continue to subject our women to the paleolithic Era of subjugation, intimidation, deprivation, absolute dehumanization and neglect.. why have we refused to tap from the opulent streams of liberalization and the definitive fundamentality of the universatality of the inalienable human rights Bestowed equally on all humanity in absence of any disparity.

it is a dispassionate, a disconsolate, and a dissmodic deprivation of right to property to a human person merely because she is a woman.

My lord, it is unsupportable,unacceptable, it is arbitrary, distasteful, inconsistent and contrary to the tenets of equality, truth and Justice which we have sworn to uphold with all diligence and faith.

The honourable justice of the supreme court, Rhodes vivour JSC in delivering the lead judgement in the recent case of ukeje V ukeje rightly held that no matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, the child is entitled to the inheritance of her  father’s estate. consequently, the igbo customary law which disentittles a female child of inheritance of her late father’s estate is In breach of section 42 (1) (2) a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to every Nigerians. the said customary law conflicts with this provision of the Constitution. hence,it cannot stand!

According to the immortal words of an Erudite scholar, he stated that such customs which defaults in respect to the  validity test of customary laws,is petrifidious  and its petrifying odour smells to the high heavens’ ultra disgusting, and produces discontentment, apathy and prejudice .it is rather  a judicial  malfunction that the trial judge erred in deciding this case in error without making a recourse or put in consideration in a reflective manner the Constitutional position every Nigerian enjoys unimpeded irrespective of sex, tribe, religion. he erred in both fact and In  law. and at such it’ll be an error to maintain them and in this case, irrespective of what scientific researchs prove, it is only God that determines the sex of a baby. it is therefore an affront to the almighty to deny his creations of their deserved basic rights. the said custom is unfit for the modern time, it is a disgrace to the 21st century. we have long ago moved away from that period in history when  women were considered second class citizens and have their offices attached closely to the kitchen and to the other room. No! never again will our women be mere sex slaves and instruments of  pleasure and  vanity. who are quickly thrown away to God knows where immediately we feel they are no longer needed . it is disheartening that our mothers, our sisters, and daughters are unjustly accused of being responsible for the death of their beloved when in actual sense they stood by the deceased till the dying and final seconds. I rather do not want to sound like a broken record but how many men has taken an oath of innocence, or has bathed with a corpse water or slept 7days by the grave side just to prove to the world that the death of his wife was a natural and unpreventable occurence., a necessary end of all human beings. rather we throw a somewhat festal gathering we call funeral and marries another younger and prettier lady who comes in to create a disconnect between  father and the used to be children. yes,,, I speak to our men, why.? I keep asking. rather than subject women, our mothers to such unprecedented journey to hell. why do we not grant them  a little bit of the privileges we enjoy. we actually do not deserve the well of  love abundantly planted and imbeded in these creatures of  pristine beauty unparalleled.

 it is an appropriate law that “no citizens of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by the circumstances of his birth. it is either we don’t understand the implications of our acts which hinges on native law or we do but is hell bent to perpetuate a behavioral and retrogressive pattern of patrimonialism predominant and prevalent In the whole of Africa.

it is in the interest of natural justice, good conscience and equity to decide this case in favour of my client. a denial of a widow and her children the right to inheritance of property which belonged to their father and husband and a house in which they have lived all their lives, is an usurpation, a disregard, an unacceptable estirpation of the superiority, authenticity and finality of the 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria. as the grundnorm of all legislation, acts and conduct.

it is my humble submission that this honourable court should in its unbiased disposition grant the prayers of my client and resolve this issue in favour of the appellants against the respondents..

As it pleases the court…..

NJOKUDAVIDCHIBUEZE
counsel to the appellants.
to be delivered at
CLASFON NATIONAL CONFERENCE
UNIZIK , AWKA.
07061861722

For knowledge and Justice

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