What is the Punishment for Rape in Nigeria

Is there a punishment for rape in Nigeria? Does rape crime get punished in Nigeria? what can a rape victim do to seek legal remedy in Nigeria? Rape in Nigeria is very prevalent, with minors being the most common victims. In fact in Nigeria, according to studies, 36% of women have experienced sexual violence in their lives.

Punishment for Rape in Nigeria
Rape in Nigeria

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What is Rape

Rape is a sexual act that occurs without consent. It is a non-consensual sexual act. According to the Federal Bureau of investigation, rape is,

The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

It is clear that a defining characteristic of rape is a lack of consent. Rape is known to cause serious negative psychological and physical problems for victims, like reproductive dysfunction, HIV/AIDS, depression, unwanted pregnancy etc.

Punishment for Rape in Nigeria

Four laws in Nigeria specifically tackle rape:

  • The Criminal Code for the Southern Nigerian States

According to section 30, subsection (357), (358), (359),

357.         Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or, in the case of a married woman, by personating her husband, is guilty of an offence which is called rape.

358.         Any person who commits the offence of rape is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.

359.         Any person who attempts to commit the offence of rape is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without caning.

  • The Penal Code for the Northern States

The punishment for the crime of rape under the penal code is fourteen years imprisonment with an additional fine.

  • The Criminal Laws of Lagos for Lagos State only

Under the Criminal Law of Lagos,

Any man who has unlawful sexual intercourse
with a woman or girl, without her consent, is guilty of
the offence of rape and liable to imprisonment for
life.

  • The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act for Abuja only.

Under this law, the minimum amount of years to be spent imprisoned for committing crime rape is 20 years, without an option of a fine.

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