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Inheritance rights are one of the key issues that cause dispute among families, so much so that a house holder (father) is required to write his will before he dies. As a member of the family, women typically have no influence in property distribution.

The purpose of this research is to look into the definition of property rights in the Ankpa community. To ascertain women’s perspectives on property inheritance in the Ankpa community. To determine the extent to which property, as defined by Igala customary rules, has impacted women’s socioeconomic growth and to offer solutions.

Data was collected from a single source, which was the major source, using a questionnaire: the sample size for this study was one hundred (100) participants, obtained using a simple random sampling procedure.The findings found that ladies in general, according to Igala traditions, are properties that may be inherited by any man.

Recommendations were made, such as amending Igala customary law in connection to cultural approach to allow women’s property inheritance. The government should also make an effort to promote gender equality through legislation and other education activities.


1.1. Introduction to the Study


Property inheritance, particularly women’s property rights, receives very little attention in various parts of the world.

According to Ogbuagu in his assessments of gender studies in Nigeria, (2002), the girl – child in most traditions around the world. Is designed to instill the idea that the female is submissive to male authority and, as a result, cannot and should not assert rights over the boy-child.

Ogbuagu goes on to say that the girl kid is taught to be a decent wife and mother in the future. Furthermore, the girl child is perceived and made to feel that she is a tool, an item, or a property to be owned and exploited to satisfy masculine needs. These disparities between old rules and facts are more pronounced in the case of women, and they are especially damaging to their interests.

According to Kenneth (2000), women’s legal rights to property are analysed against the backdrop of the law of succession, inheritance, and the family as its paramount, to highlight that no special attention has been provided to women in the creation of any law in Nigeria (2002).

According to her, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1977, promulgated into law by the military before handing over control to civilian administration on May 29, 1999, has been the source of controversy since its beginning.

The military’s imposition of these rules on the Nigerian people, according to Comfort, is the main argument against the constitution. That the constitution fails the legitimacy and acceptability criteria because it is not a process-led participatory and open constitution.

She goes on to say that the way and manner in which the 1999 constitution was written. She goes on to claim that the form and manner in which the 1999 constitution was drafted made it feasible for women, in particular, to have any influence at all.

This customary law system, in which women and children are denied property and financial provision from her husband’s and father’s property upon divorce or death, exposes them to exploitation and abuse. Customary norms are no longer always appropriate, and their observance may simply serve to entrap women and children (females) in inferior position.

Against this backdrop, the researcher attempts to determine the extent to which women in Kogi state, notably in Ankpa local government area, have property inheritance rights.

1.2. Statement Of The Problem

Traditional beliefs and practises, particularly in the Ankpa local government region, as conditioned by customary rules, have become severe impediments to the development of women in this area.

When compared to their male counterparts, Ankpa women have no property rights, regardless of whether they are single, married, or divorced.

A female heir is as good as a property to be inherited and so does not quarrel with her brothers about her father’s holdings; a married lady works and owns everything to her husband; she claims no right in the husband’s house. A widow returns to her parents empty-handed, especially if she has no male children.

These are major issues that impede women’s social, economic, political, and psychological development, and they may be conveniently attributed to the subservient roles that women tend to accept in society. This is because a person who is disenfranchised or lacks the right to property to improve his or her overall standing, whether social, political, economic, educational, or other, remains reliant and frequently takes a back seat.

The type of position that the Igala women in Ankpa local government area are in impedes their development processes and has a significant impact on their quota of contribution to the overall development of the society.

1.3. Research Questions

The research has been designed to look into the aforementioned concerns with property inheritance as well as the position of women in Ankpa local government area in terms of property rights.

The following questions will guide the investigation to determine what defined these regulations, their impact on women, and the route out.

i. What is the definition of property inheritance in the Ankpa local government area?

ii. What is the status of women in Ankpa in terms of property rights?

iii. What are the causes that are causing this?

iv. What are the implications of customary law-defined property inheritance or rights for women’s social and economic development?

v. What steps must be taken to keep women involved in the development of the Ankpa local government area?

1.4 Objectives Of The Study

The goals of this research are to discover how and why property inheritance has been shared, as well as why women have no property rights under Ankpa tradition and customary law. How issues affect women in general, and what possible solutions exist.

The precise goals of this effort will be as follows.

To investigate the Ankpa local government area’s definition of property inheritance.

To ascertain the position of women in Ankpa in terms of property inheritance or rights.

To identify the elements that are causing this

To determine how property rights as defined by Igala customary law have impacted women’s socioeconomic growth.

To make recommendations on how women might be more fully integrated into development processes.

1.5. Importance Of The Study

The purpose of this study is to better comprehend property inheritance as described by igala customary rules in the Ankpa local government area.

The study also sought to ascertain the position of women in Ankpa in terms of property inheritance. And to provide solutions to women’s issues concerning inheritance, rights, and contributions to national progress.

1.6.Definition Of Terms

This research will define the following concepts:

a piece of property

Inheritance is a type of inheritance.

The right to vote

Customary legislation

Property is defined as anything that may be owned, whether it be an object or a right. It can also be defined as something valuable that is possessed, such as land.

Inheritance: An inheritance is any object, money, or title that can, has, or will be inherited.

Rights are defined as entitlements to specific types of treatment based on one’s standing. Right can also refer to a legitimate claim or entitlement, as well as the freedom to accomplish something.

Customary Laws: Customary laws are usually unwritten and are derived over time from real practises of a location, group, or nation.

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