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Abriba: Where Kinsmen Inherit Properties

The Abriba people in Abia state are known across the South Eastern states in Nigeria. There are several accounts on the origin of the Abriba people. One of which states that the people are a descendant of the Agunaguna sub-tribe of the Ekoi group in present Cross River state. As such, they are fondly called the Usukpam-Etete.

The Abriba people are shrewd in their business dealings and would stop at nothing to ensure that their business is fruitful. There is also a burning desire to outperform their predecessors and own estates.

Although Igbo women are singled from inheritance, the Abiriba people operate a unique system of lineage: the Ikwu-nne (mother’s lineage), the Ikwu-nna (father’s lineage) and the Ogo (in-law). This order determines how the properties are shared and have existed for over 200 years.

The children are the woman’s children and not the man’s. It is, therefore, her responsibility to train and take care of her children. The kinsmen also have more right on her husband than she does.

Accordingly, a child (irrespective of their gender) has a claim on their mother’s lineage properties. The same occurs for a woman where her brother’s properties are given to her instead of his wife or his children. This is because of their Ada nne and the kinsmen status. In this regard, the wife is not left out as she is also willed her brother’s estates and not her fathers especially if their father has sisters.

In extreme cases where there is no estate from the brother to inherit, the kinsmen take over the clothes and other material properties belonging to the man after he is buried.

As for the inlaw’s estate, “ogo bu ikwu-ato” (the in-laws are the third lineage.)

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Abia StateAbriba
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