Marital Property Under Customary Law in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal of Robbing the Nigerian Woman of Her Right

Publication Information

Journal Title: Journal of Legal Studies & Research
Author(s): Kesiena Urhibo
Published On: 06/03/2023
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
First Page: 283
Last Page: 303
ISSN: 2455-2437
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

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Kesiena Urhibo, Marital Property Under Customary Law in Nigeria: A Critical Appraisal of Robbing the Nigerian Woman of Her Right, Volume 9 Issue 1, Journal of Legal Studies & Research, 283-303, Published on 06/03/2023, Available at


This paper offers a concise examination of the different forms of marriages in Nigeria, the concept of marital property and the incidence of robbing the married woman of her rights. It further x-rays the depravity suffered mostly by the wife of a marriage particularly customary marriage. Additionally, it scrutinizes the purport of a man solely laying claims to a marital property, with such property having being registered and/or conveyed in his name alone. The information obtained was subjected to a contextual analysis. It throws light on the diverse forms of marital property and names culture as the major bane of a seamless marital property acquisition system in Nigeria. This paper suggests ways to circumvent the incidences of robbing a spouse of her right to a marital property which includes amongst others having a well-drafted pre-nuptial agreement, operating a joint bank account and keeping an updated and unbroken track record of all monies expended in the acquisition together with improvements on a marital property. It finally concludes by recognizing that the challenges of law in developing an appropriate paradigm on marital property system or assimilating global standards directly into the domestic legal framework and judicial jurisprudence in Nigeria is that these issues strike at the heart of patriarchy across cultures and recommends that the symbiotic relationship between the husband and the wife of a marriage which depicts the changing realities of global best practices should be the appropriate index for the establishment of a balanced marital property system in Nigeria.

Keywords: Marriage, Marital property, Gender imbalance, Justice, Nigeria.

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