12 December 2018

Nigeria: Police Contradict Self Over Legality of Having Sex in Car

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Confusion has arisen over whether is is a crime or not to have sex in a car parked in a public place as two police chiefs have disagreed with each other over the matter.

While the Head, Police Public Complaints, Rapid Response Unit, Mr Abayomi Shogunle, said it is not a crime to have sex in one's car under some circumstances, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimin Edgal has disagreed with him, saying such assertion is misplaced.

Whereas Mr. Shogunle held that under the Nigerian constitution, having sex in one's car is not a crime provided the parties involved do not include an underage; or that the car is parked in a religious institution when the act takes place; or that both persons engaged in the sexual activities are of the same gender, the Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Edgal insisted that sex in a car parked in any public place is a crime punishable with two years in prison under Lagos laws.

In an earlier report, Mr Abayomi Shogunle, who said it is not a crime to have sex in one's car, therefore, asked that anybody who had been harassed for having sex in a car should report the incident immediately.

Mr Shogunle, stated these while responding to a question on Twitter.

Controversy had been raging on the social media following an incident that occurred last week wherein a couple was harassed by a mob for having sex in a car.

Responding to a question, Shogunle said, "No. Sex in a car in a public place is not a crime in Nigeria provided the location is not a place of worship; both persons are 18 years and above; the act is consensual (agreed to by both parties), and the parties are of the opposite sex.

"If threatened with an arrest over the above, please report to the police."

However, in a later report, the Lagos CP, Mr. Edgal said having sex inside a car parked in public place is an indecent act and offence punishable by law.

Edgal made this known on Wednesday in a statement signed by the spokesman of the command, CSP Chike Oti.

"Sequel to the development, the CP Lagos has been advised by the Director of Public Prosecution of the state Ministry of Justice and the Legal Department of the State Police Command, Panti, Yaba with relevant sections of the law as follows:

"Section 134 (a) Criminal Law of Lagos state 2015, prohibits any indecent act in any public place without lawful excuse. The Law holds that such person is liable on conviction to 2 years imprisonment.

"Section 136 of the Criminal Law of Lagos state, 2015 provides that any person who commits any act of gross indecency with another person in public commits an offence and liable on conviction to 3 years imprisonment.

"It must be noted that section 134 which deals with offences against morality particularly section 134 (a) have it that indecent act in a public place makes both parties engaging in the act liable to imprisonment for 2 years.

"In the same vein, section 231 of the Criminal Code Act which is a Federal law and applicable in states other than the northern states where Penal Code is applicable also make Indecent Acts punishable.

"Going forward, the authorities of the Lagos State Police Command hereby declares that the assertion that sex in a car in a public place is not a crime in Nigeria is misplaced as the provisions of the Criminal Law of Lagos State prohibits such acts in public even if it is done with consent of the other party," Edgal said in a statement.

The police boss, therefore, urged Lagosians to be guided by relevant sections of the law against such acts. (NAN)

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