What are the rights of women on cultural, traditional, inheritance, burial issues among others?

Discrimination against women is unlawful in Nigeria.

Section 15 and 16 of Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination (CEDAW)[1] specifically condemn those relating to the legal capacity of women, parental rights, reproductive rights in relation to spacing and number of children, property, marriage, choosing a family name, profession, education and so on.

Some practices in relation to women still exist especially with respect to traditional and cultural practices relating to inheritance, burial rights, political empowerment, child marriage, marital and parental rights, and so on in some part of Nigeria.

On discriminatory practices in relation to inheritance and burial rights, it will interest you that this area has witnessed increased litigation (court actions) because of awareness with respect to human rights. In the case of Onwo v. Oko[2] where a member of the Assemblies of God alleged discrimination on ways she was treated in compliance with mourning the dead in her community against her belief, the Court of Appeal ordered retrial and reversed the trial court decision in favour of the woman.

Also in the case of Augustine Nwafor Mojekwu v. Caroline Mgbafor Mojekwu[3], It was explained that under Olu Ekpe custom of Anambra state, only male children can inherit their fathers’ property. Also where a man is survived by a male child who dies leaving no male child, the father’s brother still inherits his property. If this brother dies, his own male child would inherit all the property. The Court of Appeal condemned such practice as repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.

While we respect customs and religious customs, it is however important that they must not be repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience.

[1] UN, Treaty series, vol. 660, p. 195

[2] (1996) 6 NWLR (Pt. 456) 584

[3] (1997) 7 NWLR (Pt. 512) 288

Is discrimination permitted because of my religion?

The 1999 constitution generally prohibits any discrimination action on the part of government with regards to free exercise of religion, in the course of performing its functions.

No one should be discriminated against by virtue of his or her religion be a free thinker, Muslim, Christian, traditional religion worshiper or anything he believes holds the place of god in his life.

Can I be discriminated upon because of my political opinion?

The trend now is that people do not want to tolerate others political opinion especially where it disagrees with theirs. This has led to war of words on social media platforms and this should not be so.

The constitution prohibition on the ground of political opinion is to avert discrimination based on differences of political ideologies or affiliations.  A person must not be discriminated against for example because he belongs to the ruling party or the opposition party, or believes in such ideology.

Am I not protected against discrimination as a child born out of wedlock and what about the Osu caste?

Section 42(2) of the 199 Constitution further provides that:

No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disabilities or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of birth.

With the above provision, children born out of wedlock are treated as legitimate for purposes inheritance if acknowledge as children by the putative father.[1] This provision has also been used to uphold the provisions of a law, which sought to remedy the disabilities traditionally, attached to the members of the osu caste in the eastern part of Nigeria.[2]

[1] Mandara v. Attorney General of the Federation (1981) 4 SC 8

[2] Ebiriukwu v. Ohanyerenwa (1959) 4 FSC 212

My right to freedom of movement (Introduction)

  • Introduction

Moving from one place to another is an important feature of man. Citizens of Nigeria have the freedom of movement, residence within Nigeria. You also have the right to leave your country and return to the same country. Nigeria.

Section 41(1) of the 1999 Constitution provides:

 

Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.

Kindly note, that this right is accorded only citizens of Nigeria. The scope of the right to freedom of movement is also reinforced under section 15(3) and (4) of the constitution, which provides:

  • For the purpose of promoting national integration, it shall be the duty of the state to-
  • Provide adequate facilities for and encourage free mobility of people, goods and services throughout the federation;
  • Secure full residence rights for every citizen in all parts of the federation….
  • The state shall foster a feeling of belonging and of involvement among the various peoples of the Federation, to the end that loyalty to the nation shall override sectional loyalties.

 

This right is so important that without it, we cannot exercise other rights like personal liberty and freedom of association and assembly.

The scope of the right is explained on other sub-headings under this section. We also explained the right to freedom of movement of Non-Nigerians as well.

My right as a Nigerian to move freely across Nigeria

As a Nigerian, your right to travel across the thirty-six states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory is guaranteed. This right gives you the freedom of physical movement from one part of Nigeria to another by modes of accepted transportation. This right cannot be taken away from you except in ways permitted by the constitution such as someone already convicted, someone under reasonable suspicion of having committed a crime, lawful curfews, person suffering from infectious diseases like some were restricted during Ebola outbreak.

Outside the lawfully permitted circumstances, no person can be place on restriction from travelling from state to state and within a state.

Driving offences and penalties in Nigeria

Since one of the means of enjoying to right to freedom of movement is transportation, the most popular means of transportation in Nigeria by road. However, you need to know what can constitute an offence while driving in Nigeria and the penalties the followed. They are provided below.

Offences & Penalties

S/NO TICK INFRINGEMENT (S) CODE POINTS PENALTY CATEGORY
1 LIGHT/SIGN VIOLATION LSV 2 2,000 2
2 ROAD OBSTRUCTION ROB 3 3,000 1
3 ROUTE VIOLATION RTV 5 5,000 1
4 SPEED LIMIT VIOLATION SLV 3 3,000 1
5 VEHICLE LICENCE VIOLATION VLV 3 3,000 2
6 VEHICLE NUMBER PLATE VIOLATION NPV 3 3,000 1
7 DRIVER’S LICENCE VIOLATION DLV 10 10,000 2
8 WRONGFUL OVERTAKING WOV 3 3,000 1
9 ROAD MARKING VIOLATION RMV 5 5,000 1
10 CAUTION SIGN VIOLATION CSV 3 3,000 3
11 DANGEROUS DRIVING DGD 10 50,000 1
12 DRIVING UNDER ALCOHOL OR DRUG INFLUENCE DUI 5 5,000 2
13 OPERATING A VEHICLE WITH FORGED DOCUMENTS OFD 10 20,000 2
14 UNAUTHORIZED REMOVAL OF OR TAMPERING WITH ROAD SIGNS UTS 5 5,000 1
15 DO NOT MOVE VIOLATION DNM 2 2,000 2
16 INADEQUATE CONSTRUCTION WARNING ICW 50,000 1
17 CONSTRUCTION AREA SPEED LIMIT VIOLATION CAV 3 3,000 1
18 FAILURE TO MOVE OVER FMO 3 3,000 1
19 FAILURE TO COVER UNSTABLE MATERIALS FCM 5 5,000 1
20 OVERLOADING OVL 10 10,000 1
21 DRIVING WITH WORN-OUT TYRE OR WITHOUT SPARE TYRE TYY 3 3,000 1
22 DRIVING WITHOUT OR WITH SHATTERED WINDSCREEN VWV 2 2,000 1
23 FAILURE TO FIX RED FLAG ON PROJECTED LOAD FFF 3 3,000 1
24 FAILURE TO REPORT ROAD ACCIDENT FRC 10 20,000 1
25 MEDICAL PERSONNEL OR HOSPITAL REJECTION OF ROAD ACCIDENT VICTIM RAV 50,000 1
26 ASSAULTING MARSHAL ON DUTY AMD 10 10,000 2
27 OBSTRUCTING MARSHAL ON DUTY OMD 2 2,000 2
28 ATTEMPTING TO CORRUPT MARSHAL ACS 10 10,000 2
29 CUSTODY FEE N200 per day after 24 hours
30 DRIVING WITHOUT SPECIFIED FIRE EXTINGUISHER FEV 3 3,000 3
31 DRIVING A COMMERCIAL WITHOUT PASSENGER MANIFEST PMV 10 10,000 2
32 DRIVING WITHOUT SEAT BELT SUV 2 2,000 1
33 USE OF PHONE WHILE DRIVING UPD 4 4,000 1
34 DRIVING A VEHICLE WHILE UNDER 18 YEARS UDR 2,000 1
35 RIDING MOTORCYCLE WITHOUT A CRASH HELMET RMH 2 2,000 1
36 EXCESSIVE SMOKE EMISSION ESE 5 5,000 1
37 MECHANICALLY DEFICIENT VEHICLE MDV 5 5,000 1
NOTE: Custody fee on impounded Motor vehicle and Motorcycle/Tricycle is N200.00 per day payable after initial 24 hours of grace

 

 

My right as a Nigerian to reside in any part of Nigeria

Since our freedom to move from one place to another state is guaranteed, the next freedom should be right to reside or be domiciled in any part of Nigeria either permanently or temporarily. A citizen of Nigeria is free to change his residence as it pleases him or her without any restriction from the Federal, State or local authorities.

 

My right not to be expelled from Nigeria

If you are a citizen of Nigeria, you have an absolute right not to be expelled from Nigeria. As a citizen of Nigeria, you cannot be denied of this important right. About three decades ago, a particular citizen was expelled from Nigeria but the court held that the authority lacked the power to expel any Nigerian citizen.[1]

 

[1] Shugaba V. Minister for Internal Affairs (1981) 1 NCLR 25.

I am coming home (Nigeria) Can I be refused entry into Nigeria?

The hallmark of citizenship is the ability of a citizen to enter his country at any point in time. This right is very important that it is classified as fundamental right in Nigeria and universally recognized. This right is absolutely in favour of a citizen of Nigeria citizen.[1] A non-citizen may however be refused entry on lawful grounds.[2]

[1] See section 1(2)(d)&(e) Immigration Act

[2] Sections 7 & 18 Immigration Act