Josephine Chukwuma-Effah


There is a lot of information on the cyber space on rape and the legal impediments of rape; some right some wrong. This article aims to separate the facts from fiction and also to provide some guide for rape survivors if they intend to pursue a criminal case against alleged rapists.

In a nutshell, rape is non-consensual sexual intercourse. When a man has sex with a woman without her consent (in Nigeria – apart from in the FCT Abuja, only women are capable of being raped). When a woman has non-consensual sex with a man it is termed sexual assault. Sexual assault is similar to rape, but is not rape. ( Lawpadi 2018) ( this has been expanded to all states where VAAP has been signed)

1. Myth One: Age of consent in Nigeria is 11; This information is false; the Child’s Rights Act of 2003 sets the age of consent at 18; however the challenge here is some states domesticated the law and reduced age of consent in their states while 11 states are yet to domesticate the Childs Rights Act. (Domestication of a law means when a law is passed by the Nigerian National Assembly and signed by the President, states also have to pass the law and the state governors also sign hence making that law applicable in those states). Advocacy should be focused on getting the remaining 11 states on board.

2. Myth 2: Since 1960 there has been only 18 Rape Convictions in Nigeria; This information is also false. Though I am unable to get a current figure the number of convictions is no where around 18. Even though this figure is still low, the challenges of getting convictions have mostly been from under reporting by victims and family members who believe the court and legal system may not give them justice. In some cases families have received compensation from the alleged rapists and refused to pursue cases further, in other cases lack of diligent prosecution , also poor training of police officers who receive reports of rape cases have discouraged victims from pursuing cases further. It is in response to this that some states have established helplines for sexual and domestic assault and some NGOs have worked to help victims get justice.

Aishatu Ene

Myth 3: Rape Laws are Lax: While laws could be better in some areas eg; marital rape and redefining rape to mean sex without consent for both genders; the current laws are quite harsh on offenders. The VAAP law now has addressed some of these concerns.

There are 4 laws that deal with rape around Nigeria; The Criminal Code – this is applicable in all the Southern States
A. The Penal Code – this is applicable in all the Northern States
B. The Criminal Laws of Lagos – this is applicable only in Lagos State
C. The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act – this has been domesticated by over 16 states currently
D. The Child Rights Act – this is only applicable in the States which have domesticated it ( Law Padi 2018).

These are the stipulated punishments for sexual crimes in Nigeria;
i. Assault with intent to commit unnatural offence (against the order of nature) is punishable with 14 years imprisonment
ii. Indecent assault on males is punishable by 3 years imprisonment
iii. Rape is punishable by life imprisonment, with or without caning.
iv. Attempt to commit rape is punishable with 14 years imprisonment
v. Indecent assault on females is punishable with 2 years imprisonment
vi. Abduction is punishable with 7 years imprisonment
vii. Abduction of girls under sixteen is punishable with two years imprisonment
Please note that ignorance of the age of the girls or as regards consent will not ground a defence. ( Wale Joseph November 2015; My Job Mag )

Step By Step Guide to reporting Rape Cases in Nigeria:In the sad event of a rape; Rape Survivors may find these steps helpful:

1. Do not take a bath
2. Call for help and guidance: emergency response numbers nationwide is 112; in Abuja include; 112, 08078111126), Lagos : 112, 08137960048 E-mail : info@dsvrtlagos.org.
Kaduna: 09064528082. Enugu; 08060084441

3. Make a report at the Police Station; A report of the incident is very important to get the case started, it is very important to remember and report every detail as this will help get the offender. If the victim is calm enough it may help to write out details before going to the station. If the police response is not satisfactory kindly report to 08057000001 police complaint line. The IGP has recently pushed for establishment of gender desks in all Police Stations, a victim or family members should request for the gender desk or officer at a station.

4. Get Medical help and a medical report; Family or friends can rush the victim to the hospital while making a police report. It is important to go to the hospital so the victim can receive immediate medical attention to prevent infections and pregnancy and for medical evidence of a rape which is needed for a strong prosecution case. Also some hospitals have social workers who will offer immediate counseling for victims. A government hospital is preferable for prosecution purposes even though the Court of Appeal has ruled that reports from Private Hospitals are now admissible.

5. Speak with a Lawyer: It is very important to speak with a good lawyer to guide you through the process of getting justice; some NGOs offer this service. A good lawyer will ensure that there is diligent prosecution and guide against public statements that may compromise the case.

6. Speak to a trained counselor; Some NGOs offer post trauma counseling services; it is very important for a survivor to get counseling as rape is a highly traumatic occurrence. While a victim may look and act fine they may suffer Post Trauma in different forms which only a trained counselor can spot and guide through.

7. Use of Social Media: In some rape and sexual assault case social media has been instrumental in getting justice especially when the police is lax in investigations, also funding is important in pursing rape cases, medical examination; in cases where the alleged rapist has fled to another town funds may be needed to facilitate an arrest unfortunately the police will say they are not adequately funded to carry out inter- state arrests ; Social media can help with such funds and also act as pressure to ensure diligent investigation and prosecution; however not all details should be put on social media as some details could alert the suspect, and compromise the case hence the need to have some guidance from a lawyer.

Supportive Roles for Rape Survivors

:1. Family: Family should offer support and not judgment; in cases of minors parents should not disregard reports, tale signs in their children. It is also important to consider the victims health in all decisions and stop the practice of receiving compensation to kill cases. Victims must receive immediate medical attention and family must ensure this is done

2. Police: The Police must be trained to understand rape as a serious issue and take the right and honest steps to investigate cases. Better funding for investigation of cases will remove the burden from the victim who may be discouraged by the expenses in pursuing a case. Gender desks at some police stations is commendable; regular training and refresher courses on new laws is required. Also gender desks should be set up in all police stations so victims can recieve adequate assistance from the police to encourage follow up with prosecution.

3. State Prosecution: Work with the police to ensure diligent prosecution of rape cases. Open communication lines with victims and families. Ensuring that the burden of funding doesn’t lie with the victim and their families.

4. NGOs: Help provide/ source funding for prosecution, work with police and prosecution to ensure victim is well represented, act as a pressure group , provide support and counseling for victims, advocate for domestication of progressive laws on sexual violence, child’s rights act, VAAP law and the sexual offences bill. Also advocate to state Governments to set up response hotlines to domestic and sexual abuse.

5. Social Media: BE RESPONSIBLE IN REPORTING RAPE CASES; Responsible reportage by bloggers and social media users is important to ensure prosecution and for the victims recovery. Using the victims pictures, sharing pictures or videos of the rape if available are not helpful; sharing videos and pictures of a rape of a minor can be regarded as distribution of child porn which is a crime. Sharing pictures of a minor without blurring the face who has been abused is also unethical. While we are all passionate about ending rape and punishing offenders, it is responsible to remember as hard as it may be that the alleged rapist under the law until proven guilty still has a presumption of innocence.

6. Sexual Offenders register: States that have domesticated the VAAP law also operate a sexual offenders register where convicted rapist and sexual offenders are published. NAPTIP as a national body also operates a national sex offenders register.


Goodnews: Akwa Ibom has signed the VAAP law so they are no longer on this map

Nigerians have once again shown their passion for humanity and affinity for change by donating N1.6M, within 24 hours to cover  legal fees of “Alleged”   Rape Victim; Seyitan Babatayo.

In the past few days, we have seen the turn of events between Music Star; Dban’j and his alleged Victim; Ms. Seyitan, We have also seen how oppression was used in a systemic way In a bid to shut down the young Woman.

While it is okay for an accused person to defend their name , it is not okay to abuse your power and try to alter the Justice system Intentionally to suit your purpose, this is exactly what the Dbanj camp has shown in the past few days, abuse of power, Intimidation and infringement of privacy (Taking over her Twitter account, while she was  at another safe location).

According to reports,Seyitan was arrested and denied access to friends, family, and legal representation in the early hours of yesterday, after the outcry on social media from several activists like; Josephine Chukwuma, Anthonia Ojenagbon, Kiki Mordi and a host of others, she was eventually released.


The Plot Twist

Within 24 hours, women on Twitter raised over a million Naira for Seyitan’s legal fees to ensure she gets proper representation.

While this was ongoing, Someone was also tweeting from Seyitan’s Twitter handle ;

The first tweet:

The second tweet:

…and there was a tweet promoting Dbanj’s New song…Foolish much eh or publicity stunt?



Seyitan just wanted an apology……


There’s a hashtag – #SilenceDbanj  also trending 

There is also an ongoing petition to have the United Nations remove D’banj as a Youth Ambassador for Peace. The 2,500 signatures needed for the petition are almost complete. (Culled from Bellanaija)

Some Celebrities like Donjazzy, Tiwa Savage, MI Abaga and a host of others have also taken a stand

Thought provoking view by Elnathan John

This is truly a sad event, but as an organisation we stand against Rape, as we have been doing for years through our sister Organisation; Walk Against Rape. We also spoke with a member of Seyi’s family and she assured us that Seyi is safe.

Esther Ijewere


With the fast spread of Covid19 and indefinite Lockdown, Nigerians are getting agitated and many worried on where the next meal will come from. One thing that has proven that Nigerians are one of the kindest people in the world is the show of love from many people, especially these women on Facebook.

They have taken it upon themselves to support people in dire need this season, from making a call for donation for widows to giving single moms relief packages between 5-10k and more, or just food support.

They are literally giving hope to the hopeless and standing up for the vulnerable.

If you or anyone need help this season, kindly follow any of them and you might just be one of the lucky people to benefit from their benevolence.

Josephine Effah-Chukwuma

A leading activist on gender based violence and women’s human rights in Nigeria. Josephine Effah – Chukwuma pioneered the establishment of shelter for female victims of violence in Nigeria and is the Executive Director of Project Alert on Violence Against Women, a nongovernmental organization that provides information on various forms of violence against women and support services to victims in Nigeria. Few days ago she teamed up with Nollywood Actress Kate Henshaw and other well meaning Nigerians to raise N1M for 100 women in dire need in the lockdown states, she is currently rolling out funds to the beneficiaries.

It is very likely more funds will be raised and they will be able to touch more lives. If you need soft cash to get by, follow her.

Yinka Ogunde

Founder of Concerned Parents and Educators Initiative (CPE) and the CEO of Edumark Consult, a leading consultancy firm in the Nigerian education space. Having worked for over a decade with different stakeholders in education, Yinka Ogunde realised that any effective and lasting solution to the question of education in Nigeria would have to involve all stakeholders in education. It would not be a case of just government intervention or private sector intervention or citizen revolution.

Yinka Ogunde then reasoned that for this whole-sector powered solution to ever see the light of day, all parties would need a meeting point. This meeting point is what turned out to be CPE. An organisation that has given hope to several people in light of the Coronavirus Pandemic. From supporting single mums, to widows and also teachers who are greatly affected by this Pandemic. CPE has been a ray of light for many Nigerians in dire need amid the lockdwon period.

Olufunmilayo Odunaike

If you want to know the positive impact of social.media, please go on Olufunmilayo Odunaike wall on Facebook , this beautiful woman who recently turned 40 have been tagged “Mother Theresa” of Facebook, from helping sick kids raise funds to connecting those in need to donors, not to mention her recent Facebook giveaway lockdown challenge that saw people winning between. 20 – 100k. She is always doing something to give back and throwing in some positive light in the world. See one of major giveback post here

Defunke Adewunmi

Adefunke Adewumi, the founder of Black Diamonds Support Foundation, a non-profit organisation that supports and empower women especially widows and single mothers, she is well known in the slums ving hope, medical, wellbeing and educational support to indigents children, across the country. She speaks against domestic violence, rape, child abuse and molestation.Her popularity soar high with her annual outreach, tagged “Project 5000”, a project she kicked off after the death of her philanthropist mum who died seven years ago. The initiative went viral on Facebook when she fed 5000 indigents children during Christmas and also supported them with basic school needs The single mum of twins who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Guidance and Counselling from University of Ado Ekiti and Master’s of Arts in International Relations and Strategic Studies from Benue State university Makurdi.

Defunke is passionate to see both children and adult live their potentials to maximum capabilities. She has continously use her platform to support vulnerable persons in the society. Her most recent effort has been targeted towards raising funds for people who are highly affected by the lockdown, especially single parent in dire need.

Olori Ranti Ajayi

Olori Oluranti Ajayi is the founder of Womanhood with Olori Ajayi Foundation. It was founded on June 1st 2018. It was created as a Not for Profit organization (NGO) aimed at reaching out to the less priviledged in society.

Through her orgnaisation; Womanhood , she has been able to successfully impact lives of the less priviledged with several charity and philantrophic gestures, and has supported so many women and their families since the lockdown started.

Folusho Liasu

Mofoluwasho Monisola Liasu is a Lagos based practising lawyer. She attended the University of Lagos, Akoka where she bagged a first degree in law and thereafter proceeded to bag an additional post graduate degree in International law and diplomacy. Folusho runs a thriving lingerie business (Posh Lingerie) which caters to the intricate needs of ladies. Folusho being very humane, is passionate about humanity, widows, special needs children, physically challenged and cancer survivors. Her interest in this special category of people stems from their inability to meet their basic needs, thereby leaving their survival at the mercy of philanthropists and willful givers. Her advocacy is publicised majorly on her Super Parent Facebook page where her passion is seen through all known conventional means to source for funds and generate awareness for the groups’ often pitiable plight and weary conditions. She has given hope to special persons in need since the lockdown started, and even advocated for them through other platforms.

Yetunde Morenikeji Raji

Yetunde you would think she has it all going well for her till you hear her story. Her zeal and optimism seems to be her secret weapon. She became an amputee same day she lost her husband in a fatal accident that almost took her life. .It was as if her life has been cut short. She rose from the ashes of the adversity and took responsibility for her life. She survived that dark phase in her life and now using her story to advocate for amputees and touch lives through her organisation YAAR. She has helped raise money for the vulnerable and downtrodden since the beginning of the lockdown.

Patricia Nwanyioma Sparkle

The Nigerian born, American based Nurse and blogger has consistently used her platform to give back to people in need. From giving single mums soft cash to raising funds for families in need. Sparkle as she is fondly called by her friends has given hope to many during the lockdown.

Angela Nwosu

The philanthropist has given hope to many through her Facebook page, she has shown love and compassion to her diligent followers who call themselves “AngieNation” by supporting them with funds and giving them hope.

Adebukola Crowngold

Founder, Givers Arena. In its three years of existence, her organisation has succeeded in putting smiles on the faces of individuals and communities by meeting specific needs ranging from provison of community borehole, payment of childrens school fees and empowering widows with stipends to either start a trade or boost existing ones. She has also been very supportive during the lockdown.

Cynthia Valerian Raphaels

The Customer service personnel, Marriage guardian and Women’s advocate have shown her followers and Facebook users the power of humanity and beauty of benevolence since the lockdown started.

….and of course yours truly Esther Ijewere , I do my bit via our Women of Rubies & Men Who Inspire Facebook and Instagram pages, plus my personal wall but this post isn’t about me.

These women have put smiles on many faces and given hope to the most vulnerable and I celebrate them, you should too.

How are you coping with the #StayHome, I would love to read from you. Let me know in the comment.

Esther Ijewere™©