Editorials

Copulation: Stop Abusing The Privilege Of Relationship - RIFA

Naturally, human beings are made to have sexual feeling for others where people are naturally normal. This feeling can be normal or abnormal. However, the passion to quench the human feeling has to be controlled if one does not want to become competitor with animals with no shame. That is why the nature institutionalized marriage to regulate human actions regarding copulation so that breeding bastards who destabilize societies would not be a thing of joy for societies yearning for peace and progress.

On Thursday March 21, 2024 Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) received complaint from a woman in Abeokuta whose partner (as there was no any form of formalized marriage or introduction between the woman and her partner before she moved to his house and started cohabiting before quarrel separated them) posted, on whatsapp group, her full nude pictures taken whilst asleep perhaps after copulation and forwarded same to her as confirmation to read people’s comments.

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RIFA took up the case to Police Station for necessary action. On Friday, March 22, 2024, RIFA, the complainant and her estranged partner were invited to the Police Station where the man was eventually arrested. The following day, March 23, 2024, the parties and the legal counsel of the accused were invited again to the Station where the Divisional Crime Office (DCO) of the Police Station was briefed and surprised on the intent of engaging in such dastard act of capturing nakedness of a woman on phone, posting same to a group and still forwarded same to the victim. Then DCO ordered the accused to be remanded in detention till Monday for prosecution.

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Before the Monday morning planned prosecution, the victim approached the Police Station to discontinue the case and was directed to bring an affidavit to that effect. RIFA in line with ethical standards have accepted the victim decision and as such withdrew from further prosecution of the case.

The report had it that the families of the accused had gone to the victim’s mother to beg her and so she prevailed on her daughter which the daughter accepted. The fact remains that the psychological trauma on the victim remains for life but forgiveness supersedes other considerations.

However, it is pertinent to hint everyone on the legal provisions as regards reckless postings either on social media or elsewhere. First, section 170 of the criminal code Act provides that “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 misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year”.

Similarly, section 24 of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention Act 2015 provides thus; “any person who knowingly or intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or network that (a) 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”.

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Also, section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) which provides that “the privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.”

On the other hand, the Prophet (S.A.W) was reported to have said “ A woman should not look at or touch another woman to describe her to her husband in such a way as if he was actually looking at her”-Sahih al-Buhari Vol.2:788. Also, the Prophet was quoted to have said “Amongst the ‘worst’ of people in Allah’s sight on the day of resurrection is the husband who indulges in intimacy with his wife, then reveals her secrets to others”- Sahih al-Buhari Vol.2:760.

The Prophet was also reported to have said“ When one of you goes to his wife, he should cover his nakedness even at that time. He should not make himself naked like donkeys”-Ibn Majah reported. This also extends to other partner

Based on the above, it is clear that some people make wrong assertions about police and some human rights organizations’ manner of handling cases especially when they are not adequately briefed on facts of cases. Yes a crime was committed and the Police was ready to apply the laws but the victim decided otherwise.

Can prosecution succeeds without witnesses and evidences? Definitely not at all. So, even if Police decided to pursue the case beyond this level or RIFA want to forge ahead, the case is as good as being a waste of resources. This is because for prosecution to be diligently pursued, facts must be logically presented. So, the need to let the sleeping dog lies.

Conclusively, RIFA urge couples and or partners to respect each other’s privacy so as not to incur avoidable wrath of law. Besides, if not for criminal intent, why taking and keeping photographs of one’s partner nakedness? This is not only callous but perilous. What of if another person has access to the phone and decided to use the obscene photographs for another sinister purpose? Partners or couples should also avoid making misunderstanding between them lose their senses to the point of seeing revealing nude pictures of others as revenge.

More so, family of victims of sexual abuse should stop unnecessary pressure on victims to withdraw cases against criminals as some scape-goats must be allowed to face the music if we must reduce crimes in our society. RIFA urge everyone to take to the advice of the noble Prophet (S.A.W) by keeping secret and private what is private and protected. Having rare opportunity to partner’s privacy should not be a licence to engage in criminal activities against same person who has trusted their partners.

Luqman Soliu

President, Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA)

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