Following a raging controversy on social media over an incident that occurred last week wherein a couple was harassed by a mob for having sex in a car, the Lagos Police Command has on Wednesday clarified that it is criminal to have sex in a car parked in a public place.
In a statement by the command’s spokesman, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Chike Oti, Sections 134 (a) and 136 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2015 prohibited indecent act in any public place without lawful excuse and/or gross indecency with another person in public, warning that anyone found guilty of such an act was liable to two or three years in prison.
The clarification by the command is coming hours after the Head of the Police Complaint Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), Abayomi Shogunle had in response (now viral on social media) to a question by a Twitter user on whether sex in a car was a crime, said in his tweet that: “Sex in a car in a public place is not a crime in Nigeria provided location is not a place of worship, parties are 18 years and above, the act is consensual and parties are of opposite sex.”
Further more, the police spokesperson in explaining the position of the command said “the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Imohimi Edgal was advised by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Ministry of Justice and the Legal Department of the Command, Yaba on relevant sections of the law.
“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 two 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 three years imprisonment.
“It must be noted that section 134 which deals with offences against morality particularly section 134(a) has it that indecent act in a public place makes both parties engaging in the act liable to imprisonment for two 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
“To this end, the Commissioner of Police Imohimi Edgal wants Lagosians to be guided by relevant sections of the law against such acts,” the statement read.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.