Sexual Harassment Laws in Nigeria

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN (2nd left) signing the Executive Order Establishing a Sex Offenders’ Register at the Banquet Hall, Lagos House Ikeja, on Monday, December 1, 2014. With him are: His Deputy, Hon. (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire (2nd right), Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye (left) and the Chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (right).

Section 224 of the Criminal Code Act Laws of the Federation 2004 (offences against morality) provides that: any person who –

1) By threats or intimidation of any kind procures a woman or girl to have unlawful carnal connection with a man, either in Nigeria or elsewhere; or

2) By any false pretence procures a woman or girl to have unlawful carnal connection with a man either in Nigeria or elsewhere; or

3) Administer to a woman or girl, or causes a woman or girl to take, any drug or other thing with intent to stupefy or overpower her in order to enable any man, whether a particular man or not, to have unlawful carnal knowledge of her;

Is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.


 S.257 (b) states that any person who knowingly sends, or attempts to send, by post anything which encloses an indecent or obscene print, painting, photograph, lithograph, engraving, book, card, or article, which has on it, or in it, or on its cover, any indecent, obscene, or grossly offensive words, marks, or designs, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one (1) year.

 Chapter 25 which provides for Sexual Offences states under S. 262 that:

(1) “Any person who sexually harasses another is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for three (3) years.

 (2) Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which when submitted to or rejected –

(a) Implicitly or explicitly affects a person’s employment or educational opportunity or unreasonable interferes with the person’s work or educational performance

(b) Implicitly or explicitly suggests that submission to or rejection of the conduct will be a factor in academic or employment decisions or

(c) Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning or working environment

•Anyone uses sexually suggestive cartoons in teaching a subject not related to sex.

• During recess and/or lunch time, a group of students hanging out in the playground and rate female students who are playing/ chatting/ staying there. As a result, some of the female students avoid staying in the playground.

• In the staff room where there are both female and male colleagues, some colleagues display nude pictures as screen savers on the computer; or some like to exchange obscene jokes with each other in the presence of other colleagues of the opposite sex.

• Staff members make sexual jokes or discuss their sex lives within earshot of other staff/ students on the school premises.

 A group of students hijack classroom discussion and turn it to sexual topics.

Students of the opposite sex feel offended and do not want to join the discussion.