As the world is now a global village, different happenings is now surfacing and more harm is being done to the fundamental human right of privacy.
In 2021, an unknown person circulated Tiwa Savage’s nude pictures on the internet and of recent on the 4th of January 2023 the popular actress Empress Njamah pictures was also circulated on the internet by her ex-fiance. In all of these, is it that the law is silent on these issues or does the victim not have any cause of action to pursue?
NIGERIAN LEGISLATIONS ON RIGHT TO PRIVACY
It is the constitutional right of every Nigeria citizen to have his/her privacy protected. This is contained in section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.
In Nigeria and more recently there has been a lot of cases of revenge porn especially by celebrities who post their ex-lover’s intimate moment as a way to get back to them. The two laws that deal with this phenomenon in Nigeria are The Criminal Code Act and the Cyber-crimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015.
The criminal code act particularly section 170 provides as follows: Any person who knowingly sends, or attempts to send, by post anything which;
(a)encloses anything, whether living or inanimate, of such a nature as to be likely to injure any other thing in the course of conveyance, or to injure any person; or (b) encloses an indecent or obscene print, painting, photograph, lithograph, engraving, book, card, or article, or which has on it, or in it, or on its cover, any indecent, obscene, or grossly offensive words, marks, or designs; is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year.
On the other hand, the Cybercrimes Act of Nigeria 2015 deals more on revenge porn and this is contained in section 24 of the act which provides as follows:
(a) Any person who knowingly or intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or network that is grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any such message or matter to be so sent; or
(b) he knows to be false for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another or causes such a message to be sent: commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7, 000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
From the foregoing, the Nigerian Constitution together with The Criminal Code Act and the Cyber-crimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015 expressly prohibit the sharing of nude pictures or video without the consent of the person captured in it. Doing so is a punishable offence under the law.
The challenge that is faced by the victims is the inability to report the matter to the relevant authority due to fear of ridicule and shame. Victims should report offenders to enable this serve as deterrent to others.
A victim of revenge porn should report to the police or contact a lawyer on the appropriate step to take.