Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Matters of Igiogbe Inheritance Under Bini Native Law and Custom



The law of succession as it relates to the inheritance of the property of a deceased person who dies testate or intestate mostly as it relates to the place of the eldest son in relation the inheritance of the ‘igiobe’ of a deceased Benin man under native law and custom has become an area of study that has received several pronouncements by the High Court, court of Appeal and Supreme Court, yet, the more the decisions of courts, the more new areas come up for explanations, clarifications and decisions. “Igiogbe” by the decision of the courts, is the house of the deceased where he lived, died and was buried and it cannot be inherited by or given to any child of the deceased other than the eldest male child who performs the fuel burial rites of his late father. It does not form part of the distributable estate of the deceased.The main findings of this work are firstly, that ignorance, poverty and greed are bane to the inheritance of Igiogbe of a deceased Benin man. Secondly, enforcement of the right of the eldest son to inherit his late father’s igiogbe is prevalent where the first son is uneducated and poor. Thirdly, that the fact that courts void some wiles does not mean that a Benin man cannot write a will and distribute his properties therein as he wishes. A will still has place in relation to the inheritance of igiogbe under Benin native law and custom.It is therefore recommend that to ease quick settling of matters that has to do igiogbe inheritance, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism rather than by litigation should be consider more appropriate.

DOI: 10.7176/JAAS/54-05

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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