Property Rights of Women Married under Customary Law: Review of Arajulu V. Monday

Mary-Ann O. Ajayi


Under customary law, women are regarded as subordinates
to husbands and are deprived of equal rights to the
matrimonial property where a dissolution marriage occurs.
This practice of denying women equal property rights is
repugnant to the principles of natural justice. This article
adopts the desktop research to examine the decision in
Arajulu v. Monday where ownership of property acquired
during the subsistence of a customary law marriage was
determined. It examines if adequate monetary consideration
is sufficient alone to determine the legal ownership of
property acquired during the subsistence of marriage. It
found that in determining ownership rights under customary
law marriage, strict rules of ownership or proofed title should
not be adopted. This case addressed for the first time owner
of the property for women married under customary law. It
concludes by advocating that courts rely on the rules of
natural justice when determining ownership of matrimonial

Keywords: Customary law; Property; Rights; Married women;

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