Nigerian Constitution does not consider marital rape a crime- Barrister Kutuh

While this topic is particularly dicey, there are some pretty clear lines here that should obviously not be crossed.

A legal practitioner in Nigeria has revealed that in the Nigerian law, forcefully sleeping with your wife against her will is not rape.

Barrister Kutuh took to his social media page to reveal that the Nigerian law does NOT consider sleeping with your spouse in marriage without the other party’s consent as rape.

Here is what he said:

Forcefully sleeping with your wife against her will is not rape, because A man can not rape his own wife under the Nigerian law.

The laws governing rape in Nigeria are the Criminal Code and the Penal Code. The Criminal Code is applicable to Southern Nigeria and the Penal Code is applicable to Northern Nigeria.

The Penal Code, states under Section 282 , that man is said to commit rape who, SAVE WHERE HE HAS SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH HIS WIFE, has sexual intercourse with a woman against her will and without consent…etc

The Criminal Code states that 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 threat 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.

The notion that a husband cannot be guilty of rape upon his wife is predicated on the then generally accepted view of the common law. It was based on a theory articulated by Mathew Hale, Chief Justice in England in the 18th century who wrote in 1736 that: …the husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract, the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband which she cannot retract.

In other words, marital rape is not an offence in Nigeria. A husband cannot rape his wife. It is assumed that the wife gives implied general consent to sexual intercourse with her husband upon entering the marriage contract.

Rape is expressly defined as the act of having forceful sexual intercourse with someone without the consent of the other party.

So a Husband having sex with his wife forcefully and without her consent is definitely RAPE. Maybe the Nigerian laws concerning what constitutes rape and what doesn’t, needs to be amended.

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