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While reading the papers, I came across an article about a man who had raped a 15 year old girl, I am sure such stories or incidents must not be entirely new to you, chances are you have also come across it in the news before. Young unsuspecting children are taking advantage of by adults and it’s not ok for such activities to continue as it may damage the child forever. A lot can be done to curb the shameful act by ensuring prosecution of alleged rapist and the rehabilitation of rape victims. The law has however taking it a step further by providing statute against child pornography.
According to the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention) Act, 2015, child pornography includes pornographic material that visually depicts -‐a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; a person appearing to be a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; and realistic images representing a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. For the purpose of this law, the term “child” or “minor” means a person below 18 years.
Child pornography laws have existed in other legal jurisdictions for a long time and it’s great to see it being introduced in Nigeria. The Cyber Crime Act 2015 in Section 23 provides in subsection 1 that:
“Any person who intentionally uses any computer system or network in or for -‐(a) producing child pornography; (b) offering or making available child pornography; (c) distributing or transmitting child pornography; (d) procuring child pornography for oneself or for another person; (e) possessing child pornography in a computer system or on a computer data storage medium: commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction –
(i) in the case of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) to imprisonment for a term of 10 years or a fine of not more than
N20,000,000.00 or to both
fine and imprisonment; and
(ii) in the case of paragraphs(d) and (e) of this subsection, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than
or to both such fine and
Furthermore, any person who knowingly makes or sends other pornographic images to another computer by way of unsolicited distribution shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction shall be sentenced to One year imprisonment or a fine of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira or both.
Subsection (3) states that any person who, intentionally proposes, grooms or solicits, through any computer system or network, to meet a child for the purpose of:
(a) engaging in sexual activities with the child;
(b) engaging in sexual activities with the child where –
(i) use is made of coercion, inducement, force or threats;
(ii) abuse is made of a recognized position of trust, authority or influence over the child, including within the family; or Child pornography and related offences.
(iii) abuse is made of a particularly vulnerable situation of the child, mental or physical disability or a situation of dependence;
(c) recruiting, inducing, coercing, exposing, or causing a child to participate in pornographic performances or profiting from or otherwise exploiting a child for such purposes; commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction -‐
(i) in the case of paragraphs (a) to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years and a fine of not more than
(ii) in the case of paragraphs(b) and(c) of this subsection, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 years and a fine of not more than
This law is however yet to be fully tested in courts as it is a new legislation and not many people have been charged under its provisions, however, it will serve as a major deterrent to anyone involved in the business of child pornography.