CUSTOMARY SUCCESSION LAW IN MODERN IBO LAND; JUDICIAL AND LEGISLATIVE DIMENSION IN FOCUS*
Right from the beginning there has always been a transition from one generation to another generation and whatever assets or liabilities that were owned or used by one generation is usually passed or transferred to the succeeding generation.
The law of succession is all about the transfer or devolution of property on the death of the owner. It is the manner or form by which property devolves. Though there may not have been any law or statute enacted by a legislature for this purpose, yet each community have had their own beliefs and practices regulating same. Thus, it was held, that it is the assent of the natives of a particular community to practices and customs in that community that makes such practices and customs valid Customary law embodies customs as practiced by the people which they regard as binding on them. Customary succession therefore, is concerned with the way and manner recognized and accepted by the people in which properties are transferred locally according to the customs, traditions and practices of the people.
This seminar paper therefore is aimed at examining customary succession among the Ibo speaking peoples of Nigeria
Haven noted above the fact that succession have been since the existence of man upon the earth, it therefore means that succession in Africa and in particular among the Ibo speaking peoples of Nigeria did not begin with colonization. Thus even before the colonization of Africa, her indigenous people had their own established culture, customs, practices and way of life which regulated relationships between of these communities, including succession.
Customary law is any system of law different from common law and a law enacted by a competent legislature in Nigeria, but which is enforceable and binding within Nigeria as between the parties subject to its way. Customary succession therefore, is succession that is not in accordance with the common law or a statute enacted, but in accordance with the traditions, customs and practices of the local people which are enforceable and binding between the parties which are subject to it.
This paper therefore the examines nature of succession as practiced according to the customs, traditions and practices of the Ibos of Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia states, (South-Eastern states) of Nigeria, legislative and judicial interventions and their impact on these customary practices, advantages and disadvantages of customary practices if any, recommendations and conclusion.