Nigeria: Possession of Pepper Spray an Offence Says Nigerian Police

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Pepper spray

The Nigerian police on Tuesday said that the possession of pepper spray is an offence.

An Assistant Commissioner of Police and the head of Nigerian Plice's Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), Abayomi Shogunle, said this while replying to a tweet.

A Nigerian twitter user Dolapo Pizzu (@DolapoPizzu) tweeted that she was arrested for being in possession of a pepper spray by men of the Nigerian police at Igando in Lagos.

She tweeted, "oga yomi your boys have stopped me for owning a pepper spray saying it's an offence.. currently at Igando police station".

In his response, Shogunle said: "What are you doing with a pepper spray? Pepper spray is an offensive weapon, Nigeria 🇳🇬 Law prohibits going armed in the public."

Pepper spray is usually used by women as a defence weapon against attackers, especially rapists.

According to The Criminal Code Act, Chapter 36, Subsection 403B, an offensive weapon is defined as:

"offensive weapon" means any article apart from a firearm made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person or intend by the person having it for such use by him and it includes an air gun, air pistol, bow and arrow, spear, cutlass, matchet, dagger, cudgel, or any piece of wood, metal, glass or stone capable of being used as an offensive weapon.

Although Nigerians have taken offence at the statement, Section 417 of th Criminal Code states:

Any person who is found in any of the following circumstances-

(a)being armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, and being so armed with intent to break or enter a dwelling-house, and to commit a felony therein;

is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years.

If the offender has been previously convicted of a felony relating to property, he is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

In response to this announcement, some Nigerians have taken to their social platforms to react.

Read some of the comments below:

How the hell is a pepper spray an offensive weapon??? Does one go about brandishing the thing?

I'm sick of you people in this country.

-- Rita C. Onwurah (@RitaOnwurah) April 17, 2018

This is the kind of laws that people who identify as feminists should be fighting. Many women are victims of harassment, assault, abuse, and rape. Having a pepper spray as a 'protective weapon' against such crimes shouldn't be criminal. Women have the right to protect themselves https://t.co/cE8j3AurO6

-- Oyèyemí Bámidélé (@Chrisbamidele) April 17, 2018

Making this issue about Yomi Sogunle is funny. He didn't arrest the lady, another officer did. The lady tweeted with the hope of reporting his men to him. Yomi shocked the rest of us by telling us carrying pepper spray is illegal. Yomi is not the problem, the law is.

-- Oyèyemí Bámidélé (@Chrisbamidele) April 17, 2018

ALL OF A SUDDEN PEPPER SPRAY IS AN OFFENSE!!! WHAT OF THE HERDSMEN WITH AK 47 RIFLES, PLEASE CARRY THE PEPPER SPRAY, TO HELL WITH THE POLICE!!!!! 👊 YOU POLICE PEOPLE, WE ARE COMING4 U, 2019 YOUR FAITH WILL BE DECIDED !!!!!!!! 😡😡😡😡 https://t.co/Mvxnez4A12

-- PRINCESS (@VOICEOOFNIGERIA) April 17, 2018

Police can't protect you, your pepper spray can't protect you because the police that is supposed to protect you says pepper spray is a weapon. Even electric fence is illegal as i was told. What a country.

-- Victor Owo (@owo747) April 17, 2018

@YomiShogunle If pepper spray is considered to be an offensive weapon, how come @Ms_DSF didn't get arrested for using it on the taxify driver?

-- P! (@Adepiero57) April 17, 2018

Can you please show me what section of what law prohibits the possession and use of pepper sprays?

Thanks https://t.co/9MoVmMUSct

-- Igala_Alan_Shore (@i_am_Anomeli) April 17, 2018

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