Nigeria

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, volutpat referrentur mel ex, eam ad dicant fabulas vituperata. Quo te civibus vivendum mediocrem. At pri mundi offendit. Vim an everti accusam consectetuer. Ceteros fabellas vix no, id impetus fastidii eam. Sonet essent ut vim, ea alia everti oblique eum, suas senserit voluptatibus sea et.

Vide partem id mei, vel ex nonumes repudiare. Et veritus admodum usu. Nec quas nobis eruditi at, ut mei utinam legere. Eum in debitis liberavisse, qui cu tollit rationibus interpretaris.

Africa: Moving towards revolutionising approaches to HIV criminalisation

29 Jun 2017
“We have all agreed with the Sustainable Development Goal of ending HIV and Tuberculosis by 2030. We cannot get there while we are arresting the same people we are supposed to ensure are accessing treatment and living positively,” said Dr … More

Nigeria: On Zero Discrimination Day, Coalition of Lawyers for Human Rights strongly denounce judicial HIV stigma in ongoing child custody case (Press release)

01 Mar 2017
Breach of HIV status confidentiality and discrimination by the Hon Justice Olagunju of the Oyo State Judiciary  Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. March 1, 2017. Coalition of Lawyers for Human Rights, COLaHR, is a Coalition of Human Rights Lawyers working on … More

Nigeria: Senate passes law criminalising HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission with vague and overly broad statutes in the Sexual Offences Bill

04 Jun 2015
Yesterday, Wednesday, June 3, the Sexual Offences Bill, sponsored by Senator Christiana Anyanwu, (pictured above) was passed by the Nigerian Senate. The new law contains a number of problematic provisions relating to “HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted … More

African HIV criminalisation achievements and challenges highlighted at ICASA 2013

11 Dec 2013
The African continent has more countries with overly broad and vague HIV-specific laws relating to HIV non-disclosure, exposure and/or transmission than any other global region, nearly all of which have been enacted in the past decade. Although North America is … More

Nigeria: Advocates successfully argue for removal of HIV criminalisation clause from draft HIV and AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act

12 Feb 2013
Advocates in Nigeria have successfullly argued to remove a clause criminalising the ‘willful or deliberate spead of HIV’ from the latest draft of the long-awaited HIV and AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act. Last week, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS … More

Nigeria: Oh the irony – “aggressive dissemination” of HIV-specific law both increases and punishes stigma

11 Nov 2010
It was passed three years ago, but only now has the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), in collaboration with Enhancing Nigerian HIV Response (ENR) and the Lagos State Ministry of Justice begun “aggressive dissemination” of the Law for the … More

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Country overview

The Sexual Offences Act, 3 June 2015, contains a number of problematic provisions relating to HIV and other serious sexually transmitted infections, specifically: Section 24 Deliberate transmission of HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease, and Section 39 Intentional and unlawful acts. The Act frames non-disclosure as fraud vitiating consent to sex, with lifetime imprisonment as the maximum penalty. With this Act, Nigeria’s Senate has potentially criminalised 13% of all people living with HIV globally. In addition, the Federal Republic of Nigeria consists of 36 State, three of which have to date introduced punitive laws. It is not clear whether this law will take precedence over the current law applicable to the three States.

Specific laws

Specific law enacted Yes

Sexual Offences Act, 3 June 2015, contains a number of problematic provisions relating to HIV and other serious sexually transmitted infections, specifically: Section 24 Deliberate transmission of HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease, and Section 39 Intentional and unlawful acts.

Specific law criminalising HIV non disclosure, exposure, or transmission: Yes

Prosecuted using non-HIV specific laws: No

Prosecuted using both specific and non specific laws: No

Is non-disclosure actionable: No

Is exposure actionable: No

Is transmission actionable: No

Prosecutions

Number of prosecutions 0

None known

Convictions

Number of convictions 0

None known

Laws

Applicable laws

National law: Sexual Offences Bill 2015

Federal Republic of Nigeria consists of 36 State, three of which have to date introduced punitive laws:

1. Enugu State, 2005 - Part IV: Criminal and Correctional Systems Legislation, Section 12 Transmission and Exposure Offences

2. Lagos State Government of Nigeria: Law No 17- A Law for the Protection of Persons Living with HIV and Affected by AIDS in Lagos State and for Other Connected Matters of 2007, Section 18 Offences and Penalties.

3. Cross River State Stigmatization and Discrimination Law No 9, of 2010

Applicable key wording

Sexual Offences Bill 2015

Section 26(1) Any person who, having actual knowledge that he or she is infected with HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease intentionally, knowingly and willfully does anything or permits the doing of anything which he or she knows or ought to reasonably know 

(a) will infect another person with HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease;

(b) is likely to lead to another person being infected with HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease;

(c) will infect another person with any other sexually transmitted disease, shall be guilty of an offence, whether or not he or she is married to that other person, and shall be liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty years but which may be enhanced to imprisonment for life.

 

Section 43. (1) An act is intentional and unlawful if it is committed –

b) under false pretenses or by fraudulent means.

(3) False presences or fraudulent means, referred to in sub-section (2) (b), include circumstances where a person:

(c) intentionally fails to disclose to the person in respect of whom an act which causes penetration is being committed, that he or she is infected by HIV or any other life-threatening sexual transmissible disease.

 

Enugu State, 2005 - Part IV: Criminal and Correctional Systems Legislation

Transmission and Exposure Offences

12 (1) It shall be considered a criminal offence for someone with established knowledge of his/her positive status to willfully and intentionally expose someone else or transmit the virus to another person, or engage in such behaviour or practices that are considered to put others at risk of HIV infection.

(2) Notwithstanding existing criminal, public and mental health laws, one shall be guilty of engaging in risky behaviour capable of willfully and intentionally transmitting HIV if he/she engages in intentional unprotected sex, attempts murder, assault, battery, unlawfully causing bodily harm, engaging in dangerous acts, use of noxious things and other such acts considered to constitute public nuisance.

(3) Notwithstanding criminal laws existing on sexual offences, anyone who coerces or engages in sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of the latter, or if such consent is obtained under force threat, fear, impersonation or offer of inducements whereby the victim is exposed to risk of transmission of HIV the perpetrator of the act shall be liable to compensate the victim to the tone of =N=200,000 if prove of infection is provided.

(4) Any partner in marriage has the right to secure divorce in a situation where he/she considers himself/herself at risk of being infected by an HIV positive partner who refuses to consent or practice safer sex, especially the consistent use of condoms.

(5) HIV -positive individuals shall not be prohibited from having sex or marrying anyone of their choice, provided the latter's consent is obtained by his/her partner either voluntarily or on demand of his/her HIV positive status, the protection of the formers right to privacy notwithstanding.

(6) Where an HIV - positive person is taken a preventive measure and such measure fails such as the case of a broken condom, resulting in the infection of his/her sexual partner, the former shall not be guilty of willful transmission if he/she obtained consent of the latter to having sex, and the latter was informed of the positive status of the former.

(7) Anyone charged with the above offences on transmission and exposure of HIV infection shall have the right to put up defence. Notwithstanding, consent shall not be considered a defence for willful or intentional transmission or exposure to HIV infection if such consent was not “informed” by the disclosure of the status of the HIV positive individual to the consenting party

 

Lagos State Government of Nigeria: Law No 17- A Law for the Protection of Persons Living with HIV and Affected by AIDS in Lagos State and for Other Connected Matters of 2007

Lagos State - Section 18 Offences and Penalties.

 (1) Any Person who willfully or knowingly endangers other persons by infecting them with the AIDS virus, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Two Hundred Thousand Naira only (N200,000) or imprisonment not exceeding ten years (10 years) or both fine and imprisonment.

 

Cross River State Stigmatization and Discrimination Law No 9, of 2010

Discussion

From the information gathered, deliberate transmission of HIV to another has not been prosecuted in Nigeria so far. Pockets of HIV criminalization laws are emerging from the States of the Federation. Presently, there is an anti-stigmatization and discrimination bill before the National Assembly. This bill, supported by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS in Nigeria and Civil Society Groups, seeks to stop stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV in Nigeria and by extension to address the wave of criminalization laws emeging from the States.

In February 2013, NEPWHAN and other civil society advocates were successful in arguing for the removal of an HIV-specific criminal statute from the draft HIV and AIDS Anti-Discrimination Bill, assisted in their advocacy by data obtained from the HIV Criminalisation Scan report.  Following analysis of text of law by HIV Justice Network, UNAIDS secretariat alerted their Nigerian country office, who convened an urgent meeting of key national stakeholders. A key outcome was the convening of a technical group by the National AIDS Control Agency to review and suggest revisions to the law consistent with UNAIDS recommendations. However, on 3 June 2015, the Nigerian Senate enacted he Sexual Offences Act, which contains a number of problematic provisions relating to HIV and other serious sexually transmitted infections, specifically: Section 24 Deliberate transmission of HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease, and Section 39 Intentional and unlawful acts

Source: African HIV criminalisation achievements and challenges highlighted at ICASA 2013 - See more at: http://www.hivjustice.net/news/african-hiv-criminalisation-achievements-and-challenges-highlighted-at-icasa-2013/#sthash.dqhtvjZ2.dpuf

Bernard EJ. Nigeria: Senate passes law criminalising HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission with vague and overly broad statutes in the Sexual Offences Bill. HIV Justice Network, 5 June 2015. http://www.hivjustice.net/news/nigeria-senate-passes-law-criminalising-hiv-non-disclosure-exposure-and-transmission-with-vague-and-overly-broad-statutes-in-the-sexual-offences-bill/

Discussions are ongoing.Personal correspondence with Patrick Eba, Senior Human Rights and Law Adviser, UNAIDS.

The Enugu State of Nigeria: Law No 2 - HIV/AIDS Anti-discrimination and Protection Law 2005 also provided for transmission of infections through the use of needles that does not follow standard infection control procedure.

Athough this law recognises consent, however, it forcloses consent as defence for willful or intentional transmission of or exposure to infection if such consent was not “informed” by the disclosure of the stauts of the HIV positive individual to the consenting party.

Lagos State: The Law seeks to protect the rights of persons living with or affected by AIDS in Lagos by providing for access to health care, HCT, establishment of anti-retroviral drugs fund, provision of universal precautions for health care workers and forbids discrimination against persons living with HIV in Workplaces, housing and society. However, it still went ahead to provide for punishment for any person who willful or knowingly endangers other persons by infecting them with the HIV virus.

Further reading

Edwin J Bernard and Sally Cameron. Advancing HIV Justice 2: Building momentum in global advocacy against HIV criminalisation. HIV Justice Network and GNP+. Brighton/Amsterdam, April 2016. http://www.hivjustice.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/AHJ2.final2_.10May2016.pdf

Latest cases and news can be found at: http://www.hivjustice.net/site/news/?country=164&from-month=-1&from-year=-1&to-month=-1&to-year=-1

Sexual Offences Bill 2015. https://www.scribd.com/doc/267639198/Nigeria-Sexual-Offences-Bill-2013

Bernard EJ. Nigeria: Senate passes law criminalising HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission with vague and overly broad statutes in the Sexual Offences Bill. HIV Justice Network, 5 June 2015. http://www.hivjustice.net/news/nigeria-senate-passes-law-criminalising-hiv-non-disclosure-exposure-and-transmission-with-vague-and-overly-broad-statutes-in-the-sexual-offences-bill/

Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies (2006). AIDS in Nigeria: A Nation on the Threshood. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674018686






Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017

Last reviewed 01 June 2017