Legal Developments in Women’s Rights Protection in Nigeria 2011

Progress along the bumpy road to increasing prosecution of rapes in the country,

Section 211 of the Evidence Act 2004

‘When a man is prosecuted for rape or for attempt to commit rape or for indecent assault, it may be shown that the woman against whom the offence is alleged to have been committed was of a generally immoral character, although she is not cross examined on the subject; the woman may in such a case be asked whether she has had connection with other men but her answer cannot be contradicted and she may also be asked whether she has had connection on other occasions with the prisoner, and if she denies it she may be contradicted.

Section 234 of the Evidence Act of 2011 (Assented to on July 22, 2011)

“Where a person  is prosecuted for rape or attempt to commit rape or for indecent assault, except with the leave of court no evidence shall be adduced , and, except with the leave, no question in cross examination shall be asked by or on behalf of the defendant about any sexual experience of the complainant with any person other than the defendant.’

Now we need to test this in the courts and make sure that both prosecutors and the defense lawyers comply.

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