Lagos Criminalises Neglect Of Pregnant Women
Lagos criminalises neglect of pregnant women
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00 By Yetunde Ayobami-Ojo News – National
IT is now a punishable offence under Section 277 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State for any person who impregnates a woman or girl to fail, refuse or neglect to contribute to maternity related cost from ante-natal or post-natal stages.
This was made known by the Lagos State Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye during a legislative awareness and sensitization programme on the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 and Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2011.
He said that the task was on the government to ensure that laws were well known to the people, especially if they were new as ignorance of the law generally was not an excuse for non-compliance.
Ipaye further said: “We are in a democratic dispensation which means that we should carry everyone along, and the way we put out our laws should be different from that of the military.”
He added that the judiciary was expected to be responsive and active because the laws were in a state of constant flux as they struggle to keep pace with new developments in the society.
According to him, what informed the decision to review the law was the fact that some of the laws that existed prior to this time were outdated, thus, the review, so as to reflect current day realities. He pointed out that the old Criminal Code Law had become inadequate to address the challenges of contemporary criminality.
Ipaye added that the Criminal Law of Lagos State was enacted to provide rules on criminal conduct, to regulate public order and for other connected purposes. It therefore repeals and replaces the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State Cap.C17 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003, which was first introduced in Southern Nigeria in 1914 by the British colonial Government to reflect mainly, the values of the colonial administration.
He said that the new law was a departure from the old criminal code law that focused only on the imposition of custodian sentences and fines on the offenders as the new law now provided for other forms of punishment which include compensation, restitution, community service orders and probation.
“We have a society that is changing, certain crimes which were unknown in the past have grown which is why the legislators have to keep reviewing our laws to respond to societal changes, and promoting the consciousness of the society about what government is doing,” Ipaye noted.
The Attorney-General highlighted other newly created offences as; terrorism; cheating at examination; money laundering and allied offences; specially aggravated offences; unlawful harassment of debtors; unlawful conversion of public property; unlawful interferences with property and new intimate offences, among others.