Sacred Nature of Statutory Employments in Nigeria

James Ode Abah @ Bonafide Legal

Sacred Nature of Statutory Employments in Nigeria

 

By James Ode Abah Esq.

 

Employment contracts in Nigeria at best can be categorized into that of Master and Servant and employments which are statutory in nature in the sense that same is regulated by law.  In real sense statutory employments enjoy statutory flavor. In which case, the terms of employment of staff or employees is governed by the statute creating that organization.

However where the employment relationship is not governed by statute such employment is regarded as that of Master and servant.  The popular slogan that a court cannot impose or foist a willing employee on an unwilling employer is rooted in a Master and Servant employment.

This article is aimed at looking at the sacred nature of statutory employments in Nigeria which places same on higher unique status above that of a master and servant employment.

The position of…

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Sacred Nature of Statutory Employments in Nigeria — James Ode Abah @ Bonafide Legal

Sacred Nature of Statutory Employments in Nigeria By James Ode Abah Esq. Employment contracts in Nigeria at best can be categorized into that of Master and Servant and employments which are statutory in nature in the sense that same is regulated by law. In real sense statutory employments enjoy statutory flavor. In which […]

via Sacred Nature of Statutory Employments in Nigeria — James Ode Abah @ Bonafide Legal

Sacred Nature of Statutory Employments in Nigeria

Sacred Nature of Statutory Employments in Nigeria

 

By James Ode Abah Esq.

 

Employment contracts in Nigeria at best can be categorized into that of Master and Servant and employments which are statutory in nature in the sense that same is regulated by law.  In real sense statutory employments enjoy statutory flavor. In which case, the terms of employment of staff or employees is governed by the statute creating that organization.

 

However where the employment relationship is not governed by statute such employment is regarded as that of Master and servant.  The popular slogan that a court cannot impose or foist a willing employee on an unwilling employer is rooted in a Master and Servant employment.

 

This article is aimed at looking at the sacred nature of statutory employments in Nigeria which places same on higher unique status above that of a master and servant employment.

 

The position of the Law on Statutory Employment

 

As stated earlier, the law is well settled that two vital ingredients that, must co-exist before a contract of employment may be said to import statutory flavor include the following:

  1. The employer must be a body set up by statute and
  2. The stabilizing statute must make express provisions regulating the employment of the staff of the category of the employee concerned, especially in matters of discipline.

 

Thus, there is an employment with statutory flavour when the appointment and termination of the employment is governed by statutory provisions.

 

It is accepted that where the contract of service is governed by the provisions of statute or where the conditions of service are contained in regulations derived from statutory provisions, they invest the employee with a legal status higher than the ordinary one of master and servant. They accordingly enjoy statutory flavour. See the case of IDONIBOYE OBU v. N.N.PC (2003) 2 NWLR (PT 805) 589, IMOLOAME v. W.A.E.C (`1992/ 9 NWLR (PT 265) 303. See also the case of P.H.C.N v. OFFEOLO (2013) 4 NWLR PT 1344 AT 380 PP PG 417 PARAS B-F

 

It is also important to note that statutory employments enjoy the dictates of fair hearing as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when it comes to the employer carrying out disciplinary proceedings against an employee.

 

In the case of EZENWA v. K.S.H.S.M.B (2011) 9 NWLR PT 1251   AT 89 PP PG 126 -127 PARAS H-C T,   the Court held that Section 36(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (1999) which enshrines the principles of fair hearing is not observed when an employee whose appointment is regulated by law appears before a committee as a witness without the slightest knowledge that he would later become the villain or accused subject to dismissal. The employee must know that he is appearing as an accused not just a witness. He should be given the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses, testify and call witnesses of his choice. This is particularly so when an employee’s source of livelihood and reputation is at stake. Evidence should not be received in the absence of the person to be affected by the proceedings of a committee in charge of inquiry.  See also the case of TUKUR v. GOVT. OF GONGOLA STATE (1989) 4 NWLR (PT 117) 517; AIYETAN V NIFOR (1987) 3 NWLR (PT 59) 48; GARBA V UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI (1986) 1 NWLR (PT.18) 550.

 

The Importance Of Fair Hearing In Statutory Employments

 

The law is well settled on the importance of fair hearing in an employer-employee relationship. It is trite law that the importance of fair hearing cannot be scuttled away within the administration of justice. The Court’s insistence on the right of fair hearing is surely not a matter of mere formality nor is it merely for the purpose of meeting procedural requirements. The courts have always insisted on fair hearing because it is the surest safeguard against injustice. In the relationship between employer and employee, there must be an allegation of a particular misconduct or wrong doing which is disputed and it is for the purpose of ascertaining the truth or otherwise of the alleged misconduct that the courts insists on fair hearing.  See the case of F.M.C IDO- EKITI v. ALABI (2012) 2 NWLR PT 1285 AT 411 PP PG 443 PARAS E-F,447 PARAS C-E Where the court held that where the provisions of a statute govern the conditions of the employment of an employee, the court regards the employee as having secured a special legal status other than the ordinary master and servant relationship with his employer. In that case, the employer is bound to comply with these conditions when it comes to termination of appointment of the employee, otherwise the act of termination would be declared wrongful, null and void.

 

The court also held at pg 460 paras B-D (supra) that where an employee establishes that his employment has statutory flavour and the court finds that his removal is ultra vires, such employee should be restored to his position. In other words, where the court holds that the termination of employment is ultra vires, null and void, it automatically places the status of an employee to where he was as if nothing happened.  The Court also held at where an employee has his employment under the statute of Public Service Rules, he cannot be dismissed at will and where his termination is found by the court to be unlawful, the only order the court can make is for reinstatement. See PG 461 PARAS D-E.

 

Furthermore, the law is well settled where a panel set up by the employer has concluded its inquiry and made up its mind that any point had been prima facie made out which point to the fault of any employee, the employer must inform such an employee of the points in the case against him and give him the opportunity to refute, explain or contradict them or otherwise exculpate himself by making any representations or defence thereto before the employer can lawfully use those points as basis for dispensing with his services.   See the case of OLAMIDE v. ZEST INTERNATIONAL HOTEL (2012) 26 N.L.L.R AT273 PP PG 229 PARAS A-C. See also the case of ALHAJI ABDULLAHI BABA v. NCATC(1991) 5NWLR (PT 192)388 AT 418

 

On the issue of retirement of statutory employees

 

On the issue of retirement of a statutory employee before his retirement age, the law is well settled that to force a public servant into retirement that is before he gets to his retirement age, is an unusual action against him in his career.

This was reiterated in the case of P.H.C.N PLC v. OFFOELO (2013) 4 NWLR PT 1344 AT 380 PP PG 409 PARAS B-D

Conclusion

On The Special Status Of Statutory Employments

 

In conclusion, the law is also well settled beyond controversy that when an office or employment has a statutory flavor in the sense that its conditions of service are provided for and protected by statute or regulations there under, any person holding that office or in that employment enjoys a special status over and above the ordinary master and servant relationship. See the Supreme Court Case of BAMGBOYE v. UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN (1999) NWLR PT 622 AT 290 PP PG 320 PARAS D-F,346  PARAS E-G; SHITTEY –BEY V FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION(1981) 1 SC 40 AT 56, OLANIYAN v. UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS (N0.2) (1985) 2 NWLR (PT 9) 599 AT 612-613, 622-623; EPEROKUN v. UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS(1986) 4 NWLR (PT 34) 162  AT 201; OLATUNBOSUN v. N.I.S.E.R COUNCIL (1988) 3 NWLR (PT.80.) 25 AT 41 PP 320 PARAS D-F, 346 PARAS E-G.

 

In BAMGBOYE v. UNIVERSITY OF ILLORIN (SUPRA), Uwaifo J.S.C, stated thus:

 

It is now well established principle of law that when an office or employment has statutory flavor in the sense that its conditions of service are provided for and protected by statute or regulations made thereunder, any person holding that office or in that employment enjoys special status over and above ordinary master and servant relationship. In the matter of discipline of such a person holding that office, the procedure laid down by the applicable statute or regulations must be fully complied with. If materially contravened, any decision affecting the right or reputation or tenure of office of that person may be declared null and void in an appropriate proceeding.

 

Consequently, an employment service with a statutory flavour is to adhere strictly to the procedure laid down in the statute or the regulation made thereunder.  Per Mbaba JCA in the case of KWARA STATE POLYTECNIC ILLORIN v. SHITTU (2013) 17 W.R.N AT 78 PP PG 109 LINES 30-45 stated that  employees who are members of the public service should have their tenure jealously guarded and all rules , regulation and procedural  provisions pertaining to them, meticulously followed. There position therefore, is not that of mere master and servant relationship. It is a position recognized as having statutory flavour. To remove a public Servant in flagrant contravention of the rules governing him, whether under contract or under provisions of statute or regulations is to act capriciously and destabilize the security of tenure of the public servant, frustrate his hopes and aspirations and thereby act in a manner inimical to order, good government and well being of the society .

A GLANCE AT THE INDIAN HEMP ACT CAP 16 LFN 2004

A GLANCE AT THE INDIAN HEMP ACT CAP 16 LFN 2004

By James Ode Abah Esq

BONAFIDE LEGAL CHAMBERS                                                    

53, Mambolo Street,

Wuse Zone 2, F.C.T Abuja

Tel : 08038673238, 08055045007, 08027518927, 08170388724

The Indian Hemp Act Cap 16 LFN 2004, was enacted to make the planting, cultivation, importation of Indian hemp an offence.

Definition of Indian Hemp

The Act in section 1 defines Indian hemp to mean any plant or part of a plant of the genus cannabis or the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from any plant of the genus cannabis or any preparation containing any such resin.

Offences as created under the Act

  1. Planting or cultivating Indian Hemp

Section 2(1) of the Act, specifically provides that any person who knowingly plants or cultivates any plant of the genus cannabis shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to be sentenced either to death or imprisonment for the term of not less than twenty-one years.

2.Unlawful importation or sale of Indian Hemp

Importation of Indian hemp and the selling of Indian hemp is also an offence under the Act. Any person who imports any Indian hemp or knowingly sells any Indian hemp shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty-one years.

3. Exportation of Indian Hemp

Exportation of Indian hemp is also an offence and any person who exports any Indian hemp shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty-one years.

4. Smoking or unlawful possession of Indian Hemp

Section 5 of the Act makes it an offence for any person to smoke and knowingly have Indian hemp in his possession. Any person who commits this offence shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than four years without the option of a fine.  However, it must be observed that it is not an offence for the possession of any medical preparation of Indian hemp in the circumstances such that no offence is committed against the Dangerous Drugs Act.

Where a person convicted of an offence is a child or a young person within the meaning of the Children and Young Persons Law of a State or the Children and Young Persons Law of a State or Children and Young Persons Act of the Federal Capital Territory (that is to say a person who is not more than seventeen years of age)   he shall be, in addition to twenty-one strokes of the cane, be sentenced to two years in a borstal, or such similar institution.

5. Possession of utensils for use in smoking Indian hemp

The Act states in section 6 that any person , who knowingly has  in his possession , any pipe or other utensil for use in connection with the smoking of Indian hemp shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years.

6. Use of premises for sales and smoking of Indian Hemp.

Section 7 of the Act provides that any person who, being the occupier of any premises, permits those premises to be used for any of the following, that is to say_

a. Selling Indian Hemp.

b. Smoking Indian Hemp or

c. Preparing Indian hemp for smoking shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than ten years without option of a fine.    However it shall not apply to the use of premises for the sale of any medical preparation of Indian Hemp in circumstances such that no offence against the Dangerous Drugs Act is committed thereby.

OPINION

It is my humble opinion that Section 8 of the Act which gives every magistrate in any part of Nigeria the jurisdiction for summary trial for any offence under sections 4 to 7 of the Act conflicts with Section 251 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended). It is important to note that the Constitution donates exclusive jurisdiction to the Federal High Court on civil and criminal causes and matters relating to drugs and poisons. By virtue of Section 251(3) thereof: The Federal High Court shall also have and exercise jurisdiction and power in respect of criminal jurisdiction and power in respect of criminal causes and matters in respect of which jurisdiction is conferred by subsection (1) of the section.

The Supreme Court has given its imprimatur to the fact that Indian hemp is a drug within the meaning of drugs in section 11 of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act. In the case of OKEWU V F.R.N (2012) 9 NWLR (PT 1305) 327 The Court held that the constitution has made clear and copious provisions in allotting jurisdiction to the Federal High Court over criminal causes and matters touching on Indian hemp.Section 8 of the Indian Hemp Act is clearly in conflict with Section 251 0f the Constitution. The law is well settled that the Constitution is supreme, paramount and overshadows all other enactment promulgated by the legislature. Section 1(3) of the Constitution makes it clear that all other laws must not only be consistent with its provisions, but derive their potency and legitimacy from it. See the case of TANKO V STATE (2009) 4 NWLR.

                                                        

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VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS (PROHIBITION) ACT 2015: OFFENCES AND PENALTIES UNDER THE ACT: A BRIEF SUM UP

VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS (PROHIBITION) ACT 2015:  OFFENCES AND PENALTIES UNDER THE ACT: A BRIEF SUM UP

By James Ode Abah Esq

BONAFIDE LEGAL CHAMBERS

Legal Practitioners and Consultants

No 53 Mambolo Street

Wuse Zone 2 F.C.T Abuja

Tel: 0803867328, 08027518927

E Mail: odeabah@ymail.com Jameodeabah@gmail.com

 

The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 was passed into law in a bid to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence against persons and to provide maximum and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders and for related matters connected therewith.

This Act is indeed a welcome development considering the fact that its provisions clearly criminalize various forms of domestic violence which have become an epidemic in Nigerian homes.  The Act however applies only to the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. The National Agency for The Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other related Matters (NAPTIP) is mandated to administer the provisions of this Act and collaborate with the relevant stakeholders including faith based organizations.

Only the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja empowered by an Act of Parliament shall have the jurisdiction to hear and grant any application brought under the Act.

However it is important for a sustained public awareness on the provisions of this law in order for Nigerians to be familiar with the offences created on the Act so as to serve as a deterrent in the violation of same.

Offences under the Act

 

The offences as stipulated under the Act are as follows to wit:

Rape:

Section 1 of the Act defines Rape to mean when  a person intentionally penetrates the vagina , anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his or her body or anything else and the other person does not consent to the penetration  or the consent is obtained by force or by means of 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 the use of any substance or additive capable of taking way  the will of such person. It is important to note that when rape is committed by a group of persons, the offenders are liable jointly to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without option of fine. In all other cases a minimum of 12 years imprisonment without option of fine.

Inflicting Physical Injury on a Person

A person  who willfully causes and inflicts physical injury on another person by means of any weapon , substance or object comits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or both. A person who attempts to commit the act of violence also commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both. A person who also incites , aids, abets or counsels another person to commit the act of violence also ccommits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both.

Willfully Placing a Person in fear of Physical injury

A person who willfully or knowingly places a person in fear of physical injury commits an offence and is commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both. . A person who attempts to commit the act of violence also commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both.

Offensive Conduct

It is an offence under the Act if a person compels another, by force or threat to engage in any conduct or act, sexual or otherwise, to the detriment of the victim’s physical or psychological wellbeing. Such person upon conviction is liable  liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N500,000.00 or both.

 

Prohibition of Female Circumcision or  Genital Mutilation

 

This provision is indeed a welcome development as it is now a crime within the Federal Capital Territory Abuja to circumcise any girl no matter what of the country one comes from.  Section 6 of the Act clearly stipulates that the circumcision or genital mutilation of the girl child or a woman is prohibited. A Person who performs female circumcision or genital mutilation or engages another to carry out such circumcision or mutilation commits an offence and is liable on  conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 4 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both. A who also attempts to carry out the offence of female circumcision or Genital Mutilation also commits an offence and is liable on  conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or both. A person who also incites , aids or abets or counsels another to commit the offence of female  circumcision or mutilation commits an offence and is liable on  conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or both.

Frustrating Investigation

 

The Act makes it an offence for any person to defraud or conceal an offence or frustrate the investigation and prosecution of offenders under the Act or any other enactment which is deemed a felony and is  liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding N500,000.00 or both.

Willfully Making False Statements

A person who willfully makes false statement, whether oral or documentary in any judicial proceeding under the Act with the aim of initiating investigation or criminal proceedings under the Act against another person commits an offence is liable on conviction to a fine of N200, 000.00 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.

Forceful Ejection from Home

The Act also makes it an offence for a person who forcefully evicts his or her spouse from his or her home or refuses him or her access commits an  offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N300,000.00 or both. A person who also attempts to forcefully evict his or her spouse also commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both. A person who tries to incites, aides , abets or counsels another to forcefully evict his or her spouse also commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both.

Depriving a Person of his or her liberty

Depriving a person of his or her liberty is also an offence and  attracts is  a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 year or to a fine not exceeding N500,000.00 or both upon conviction.

 

Damage to Property with Intent to Cause Distress

It is also an offence for a person to cause mischief or destruction or damage to property of another with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause distress or annoyance to the victim. Same carries upon conviction a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 year or to a fine not exceeding N300,000.00 or both upon conviction.

 

 

Forced Financial Dependence or Economic Abuse

A Person who causes forced financial dependence or economic abuse of another commits an offence under the Act. Upon conviction a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N500,000.00 or both upon is prescribed for this offence.

 

Forced Isolation or Separation from Family  and Friends

 

 

Isolation of a person or separation of another from family and friends is also deemed an offence. Upon conviction a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to  fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or both upon is prescribed for this offence.

Emotional, Verbal and Psychological Abuse

Emotional, verbal and psychological abuse on another is also an offence under the Act and Upon conviction a term of imprisonment not exceeding 1 year  or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both upon is prescribed for this offence.

Harmful Widowhood Practices

 

A Person who subjects a widow to harmful practices commits an offence and is liable upon  conviction a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2years or to  fine not exceeding N500,000.00 or both upon is prescribed for this offence. The Act defines harmful traditional practices to mean all traditional behavior, attitudes or practices which negatively affect the fundamental rights of women , girls or any person and includes harmful widowhood practices, denial of inheritance or succession rights , female genital mutilation or female circumcision , forced marriage and forced isolation from family.

Abandonment of Spouse, Children and Other Dependants without Sustenance

It is now a crime in the Federal Capital Territory for a person to abandon a wife or husband, children or other dependent without means of sustenance. The penalty for this offence attracts a term of 3 years imprisonment or to fine not exceeding N500, 000.00 or both.

 

 

 

 

Stalking

A person who stalks another commits an offence and is liable on conviction a term of 2 years imprisonment or to fine not exceeding N500, 000.00 or both.

Intimidation

A person who intimidates another commits an offence and is liable on conviction a term of 1 year imprisonment or to fine not exceeding N200, 000.00 or both.

 

Spousal Battery

A person who batters his or her souse commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding N200,000,00 or both.

Harmful Traditional Practices

A Person who carries out harmful and traditional practices on another commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 4years or a fine not exceeding N500,000,00 or both. As pointed out earlier, the defines harmful traditional practices to mean all traditional behavior, attitudes or practices which negatively affect the fundamental rights of women , girls or any person and includes harmful widowhood practices, denial of inheritance or succession rights , female genital mutilation or female circumcision , forced marriage and forced isolation from family.

Attack with Harmful Substance

The Act stipulates further that a person who uses chemical, biological or any other harmful liquid on another commits and offence and is liable on conviction to a term of life imprisonment without an option of fine. Furthermore a person who attempts to commit the act of violence as regards the using of chemical, biological or any harmful liquid on another also commits an offence   and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 25 years without option of fine. However a person who receives or assists another  who, to his knowledge or her knowledge commits the offence described is also liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 25 years without option of fine.

Administering a Substance with Intent

 

A person commits an offence if he intentionally administers a substance to , or causes a substance to be administered to or taken by, another person with the intention of stupefying or overpowering that person so as to enable any person  to engage in a sexual activity with that person. The penalty for this offence attracts a term not exceeding 10 years imprisonment or to fine not exceeding N500, 000.00 or both.

Political Violence.

 

A person who commits political violence is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on a term of imprisonment not exceeding four years or a fine not exceeding N500, 000.00 or both. The Act defines political violence to mean any act or attempted act of violence perpetrated in the course of political activities, such as elections, and includes the acts of thuggery, mugging, use of force to disrupt meetings or the use of dangerous weapons that may cause bodily harm or injury. Any person who attempts to commit the offence of political violence is also commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding N300, 000.00 or both.

Violence By State Actors

The Act defines State Actors as group of persons, structured or organized institutions and agencies. A state actor who commits political violence commits an offence and is liable to a term of conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 4 years or to a fine not exceeding N1,000,000.00 or both.

Incest Schedule

 

Section 25 of the Act provides that a person who knowingly  and willfully have carnal knowledge of another within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity and affinity as contained in the schedule of the Act with or without consent, commits incest and is liable on conviction to a minimum  term of 10  years  without an option of fine. In the case where two parties consent to commit incest, provided that the consent was not obtained by fraud or threat, 5 years imprisonment without an option of fine.

Indecent Exposure

It is important to note that section 26 of the Act makes it an offence for a person who intentionally exposes his or her genitals organs or a substantial part thereof, with the intention of causing distress to the other party, or that another person seeing it may be tempted or induced to commit an offence under the Act , commits an offence termed “ Indecent exposure”. Furthermore the Act states further that a person who intentionally exposes his or her genital organs, or a substantial part thereof, and induce another to either massage or touch with the intention of deriving sexual pleasure from such acts commits an offence. The Penalty for the offence of indecent exposure attracts a term of  one 1 year imprisonment  upon conviction or a fine not exceeding N500,000 or both.

CONCLUSION / OPINION

From the provisions of the Act it can be clearly gleaned that the new law prohibits female circumcision or genital mutilation, forceful ejection from home and harmful widowhood practices. The Law also prohibits indecent exposure of genital parts by persons and  abandonment of spouse, children and other dependents without sustenance, battery and harmful traditional practices.

In actual fact the law has created the legal framework for the prevention of all forms of violence against vulnerable persons, especially women and girls. This is indeed without doubt a welcome development considering the various forms of domestic violence which has become a cancer in the Nigerian society.

By the provisions of this Act, economic abuse, forced isolation and separation from family and friends, substance attack, depriving persons of their liberty, incest, indecent exposure, among others are now criminal offenses. The law if well implemented will go a long way in reducing , suppressing and if possible eliminate violence in private and public life as it provides effective remedies for victims of violence, and punishment of offenders.